Health economists writing in The Journal of Pain in September 2012 reported that the annual estimated national cost of pain ranges from $560 billion to $635 billion, which is more than the cost of the nation’s priority health conditions.
The treatment of pain is a great challenge for health care professionals as it can often debilitate individuals in ways that affect their day-to-day functioning, which significantly impacts the nation’s productivity. For example, arthritis has been particularly problematic for women. According to the Arthritis Foundation, since 1999 there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of women who attribute their disability to arthritis.
IGC has applied for a U.S patent to treat pain based on a novel therapy using cannabinoid extracts. The therapy uses a cream that is applied, using a variety of delivery technologies, for indications in both humans and other mammals such as dogs and cats. We expect to conduct metabolic profiling and apply to the FDA for trials over the next few years.
The American Pain Society recommends that pain be made more visible and categorized as the fifth vital sign. It is recognized that terminal illnesses are often accompanied by unbearable pain that is so severe and difficult to treat that death seems more preferable.
A major disadvantage of using currently available drug therapies to treat chronic severe pain is that these opioid based drugs may lead to side effects like hallucinations, constipation, sedation, nausea, respiratory depression, and dysphoria.