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Commentary

What can chronic arthritis pain teach about developing new analgesic drugs?

James Witter1 and Raymond A Dionne2*

Author affiliations

1 Center for Drug Evaluation & Research (CDER), FDA, Rockville, Maryland, USA

2 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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Citation and License

Arthritis Res Ther 2004, 6:279-281  doi:10.1186/ar1450

Published: 15 October 2004

Abstract

Chronic pain remains an important public health need with greater impact on the US economy than most other chronic conditions. Current pain management is largely limited to opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, indicating a gap in the translation of new knowledge to the development of improved pain treatments. Strategies suggested include the re-evaluation of current drug screening methods, a recognition that molecular-genetic events occurring acutely contribute to the development of pain chronicity, the validation of analgesic targets in the intended patient population, consideration of the unique genetic profile that varies between individuals, and the introduction of individual response measures to improve the capture of outcomes in clinical trials.

Keywords:
analgesics; chronic pain; drug development; individual responses; pain mechanisms