PARSIPPANY, N.J., Dec. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCRX) today announced new data gleaned from a national database of patients from 381 U.S. hospitals who underwent common hospital-based surgical procedures and received opioids for postsurgical pain management. The data demonstrate that opioid-related adverse events (ORAEs) are associated with more than a $1,000 increase in hospitalization cost and more than a day increase in length of hospital stay (LOS). These findings will be presented at 2 p.m. CST today during a poster session at the 2011 Midyear Clinical Meeting of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) in New Orleans.

In this retrospective analysis, researchers utilized Premier's database, the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information, to identify adult patients who underwent common soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures and received opioids from September 2008 to August 2010. All opioids consumed were converted to morphine-equivalent doses. Approximately 20 percent of surgical patients—or roughly one in five—were identified as experiencing an ORAE.

Researchers compared the mean total hospitalization cost and LOS between those patients who experienced an ORAE and those patients who did not. Key findings included:

  • Patients experiencing an ORAE had a 1.1-day increase in mean LOS compared to patients who did not (P<0.0001). 
  • Patients experiencing an ORAE had a $1,028 mean increase from the baseline hospitalization cost compared to patients who did not (P<0.0001).   

"Opioids have long been associated with a range of unwanted side effects in postsurgical patients, from nausea, vomiting and constipation