Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX) lauded the recent Institute of Medicine audit of the state of pain and pain management in the U.S., which was mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
The report estimates that 116 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, more than those affected by heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined.
The IOM also noted that pain costs the U.S. up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity, and urges that "a cultural transformation is necessary to better prevent, assess, treat, and understand pain of all types."
“This report will be integral in raising awareness and removing barriers to appropriate care for the more than 100 million Americans suffering from acute and chronic pain,” said Michael Onuscheck, president of Boston Scientific’s neuromodulation division.
“It also validates the positive clinical and patient outcomes we see every day that allow thousands of pain sufferers to return to more normal and productive lives. As referenced in the report, spinal cord stimulation is one of the recognized approaches in treating patients with chronic pain, with improved collaboration between primary care physicians and pain specialists being critical in removing barriers to appropriate care,” Onuscheck added in the release.
BSX’s spinal cord implant "anchor" system won FDA clearance earlier this year, indicated for use with the company’s chronic pain management. The anchor was designed to increase the speed with which surgeons place the Precision Plus SCS system’s leads — the wires through which pain-masking electrical pulses are delivered to the spine for chronic pain management.
The company nearly sold its neuromodulation unit to Stryker Corp. (NYSE:SYK) for $1.4 billion last fall, but BSX took the business off the auction block in December 2010 after the companies purportedly couldn’t agree on the value of the business.