Developing Opioid Addiction Risk Assessment and Education Protocols: Firms Announce Partnership

In a press release earlier this week, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and GeneAlign announced the formation of a partnership to develop low-opioid pain management protocols for perioperative patients at high risk for addition and misuse. The initiative will engage risk assessment and genetic testing assets developed by GeneAlign to identify postoperative patients with genetic indications for opioid addiction. The genetic test is a cheek swab that provides information on the patient’s genetic disposition to a variety of commonly prescribed opioids used perioperatively. The program will also include educational components directed to patients on medication risks and benefits, and will assist the attending clinician in the development of individually tailored postsurgical pain management plans using evidence based protocols.

Data cited in the release notes that many surgical procedures have been associated with higher risk for chronic opioid use thereafter, and some 10% of these patients report subsequent problems with opioid addiction. GeneAlign president and CEO Jim Silliman, MD, stated “As personalized medicine becomes increasingly integrated into clinical practice, providers need access to actionable genetic data at the point of care to better understand which drugs to utilize, which drugs to avoid and what opioid or nonopioid alternatives may be best suited for each individual patient.” The program is currently being rolled out in pilot hospitals.

Read the press release here.

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