Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) said today that it launched its Control Workflow system in the U.S. for use with its SynchroMed II intrathecal drug-delivery system.
The medtech titan is hoping that, combined with its pain pump, the workflow system can help physicians in weaning patients off oral opioids. In a retrospective claims analysis, Medtronic found that 51% of chronic non-malignant pain patients stopped using oral opioids after one year on the SynchroMed II pump.
Medtronic’s Control Workflow features oral opioid weaning considerations that can be personalized to individual patients. The system also includes guidance for oral opioid tapering, helping doctors design treatment strategies with the lowest effective dose of intrathecal medication.
“The Control Workflow assists me in identifying appropriate patients who could benefit from targeted drug delivery using the Medtronic pain pump, which is especially important with the current opioid epidemic in the United States,” Dr. John Hatheway, owner and provider at Northwest Pain Care, said in prepared remarks. “The workflow is especially helpful for patients who may be on high doses or cannot tolerate systemic opioids, or for those who are not finding pain relief with systemic opioid therapy. By placing the medication at the source of the pain, we can often provide better pain relief with fewer side effects at a fraction of the oral dose.”
Chronic pain patients often find themselves trapped in a cycle of escalating doses of oral opioids without experiencing any improvement in pain control or quality of life, Medtronic said. These patients – those taking high dose oral opioids with low efficacy or those who can’t tolerate oral opioids – are ideal candidates for the Control Workflow with Medtronic’s pain pump, the company noted.
“There is a significant unmet need in chronic pain and device-delivered options are underutilized for appropriate patients, so we continue to innovate to maximize the value of proven treatments,” Charlie Covert, VP & GM of Medtronic’s targeted drug delivery business, added.
“We rolled out the Control Workflow to help simplify targeted drug delivery therapy, support oral opioid weaning, and offer more patients an effective alternative for pain relief. This is an important part of our commitment to help address the opioid epidemic and pain management crises. We will continue to partner with stakeholders to provide clinical guidance that helps physicians understand when to consider device-delivered treatments,” Covert said.
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