No. 1 Medical Innovation for 2019: Alternative Therapy for Pain

Fighting the opioid crisis

The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency. Today, chronic pain is the leading cause of opioid prescription. Though several clinically validated alternative therapies for chronic pain exist, none have curtailed the crisis. Now, innovation and potential for hope comes by way of pharmacogenomic testing, which uses a patient’s genetic makeup to predict an individual’s metabolism of drugs, including some opiate-based drugs.

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Pharmacogenomic testing can be used to avoid adverse reactions and eliminate unnecessary and ineffective prescriptions, replacing them with more effective medications. Pharmacogenomics can also be used to predict who may get little or no pain relief from using some opiate-based analgesics.  Such patients might otherwise finish their prescription quickly and return for a new prescription earlier than expected. Pharmacogenomics can provide the opportunity to tailor medication therapy. In 2019, with increased access to genetic testing, pharmacogenomics is poised to make significant inroads into precision medicine and potentially end the crisis.

In this video, learn why alternative therapies for pain are one of Cleveland Clinic’s top 10 medical innovations for 2019.

Learn more about this year’s Medical Innovation Summit here.