According to a report by the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, more than 100 million American suffer from persistent pain at an annual cost of around $600 billion. The skyrocketing use of pain medications is causing a corresponding increase in the number of medication-related crises, with more than 1.2 million opioid-caused emergency room visits a year.
The need for gene-based personalized medicine in pain treatment is most obvious to those who work on a day-to-day basis with patients. Speaking to the 2014 meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Brett Badgley Snodgrass, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, of Comprehensive Primary Care in Bartlett, Tenn., said:
“Safe prescribing is of utmost importance, primarily to decrease diversion and abuse, but also to make it as safe and appropriate for our patients…Genomics can improve diagnostic and prescribing accuracy and speed. It’s helping with patients that are hard to treat – those in which no medications work, those that become very sedated with low doses of medication, those who are on high doses that are still not getting appropriate effects with appropriate dosing.”