I-Flow, LLC, a Kimberly-Clark Health Care Company and manufacturer of the ON-Q Pain Relief System (ON-Q), today announced top-line findings of a Frost & Sullivan whitepaper documenting clinician perspective that ON-Q delivers superior pain control over the full length of the post-operative period, and at a lower cost compared to Exparel.  The full paper isscheduled for release in April 2014.

The whitepaper analyzes the literature and clinical experience behind the ON-Q Pain Relief System and Pacira's Exparel (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension), and illuminates the most important criteria for clinicians to consider when evaluating post-operative pain management alternatives.

According to the anesthesiologists involved in the research, the actual duration of pain relief for Exparel was significantly shorter than marketed – 25 versus 72 hours. While Exparel provided better pain relief up to 12 hours for orthopedic surgery, ON-Q provided superior pain relief from that point forward up to 96 hours, making it the ideal choice for longer-term pain management. Additionally, one-third of patients are receiving more than one dose of Exparel and adjunctive drugs are used in the majority of cases, adding additional costs.

"Clinicians are telling us that pain is personal, and one-size does not fit all," said Charlie Whelan, Whitepaper Lead Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "ON-Q's ability to adapt to the changing pain relief needs that patients have over the first five days following surgery, and not just the first 12 or 24 hours, makes it the preferred choice for patients, surgeons and anesthesiologists alike."

Frost & Sullivan identified three criteria that establish ON-Q as the preferred choice of those surveyed over Exparel for post-operative pain management:

  • Greater economic value across the entire post-operative period
  • Proven clinical effectiveness specific to individual patient needs
  • Safety and predictability rooted in evidence

"While Exparel has been touted as a more cost-effective alternative to post-operative pain pumps, the actual economics in a clinical setting suggest otherwise," noted Alan Dine, Senior Director Clinical Research, I-Flow. "With an increasing focus on minimizing excess cost, improving patient satisfaction and avoiding readmissions, it's essential for hospitals to analyze the economic impact of their post-operative pain management approach."