Pain and Fibromyalgia Sufferers Are Dissatisfied with Treatments, Kantar Health Says

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New findings from PainMPact™ show high unmet need globally by patients due to low diagnosis and low treatment satisfaction.

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Pain is incredibly difficult to treat because everybody experiences it differently, and the many different types of pain add another layer of complexity.

Less than half of patients treated for pain or fibromyalgia say they are very or extremely satisfied with their prescription medication, according to new findings from Kantar Health, a leading global healthcare consulting firm. Among the 10 countries covered in the patient survey, satisfaction is highest among patients in Russia and Germany, where about half of patients say they are satisfied with their pain treatment, and lowest among patients in Japan.

“Pain is a high-prevalence, low-diagnosis market and often results in extremely high unmet needs,” said Michael Fronstin, general manager, Health Outcomes, Forecasting and Epidemiology, at Kantar Health. “Pain is incredibly difficult to treat because everybody experiences it differently, and the many different types of pain add another layer of complexity.”

Pain is most common in the UK and the United States, with one-third of patients in these countries saying they have experienced pain in the past month. Patient-reported prevalence is lowest in China at 12 percent and in Japan at 14 percent. Japan also has the lowest proportion of pain diagnoses, with less than half of those who say they experience pain having been diagnosed by a physician.

Kantar Health’s other findings show:

  • Treatment of pain is lowest in China and Japan, with only one in three diagnosed patients receiving prescription medication for treatment.
  • Treatment levels are highest in Russia and Spain, where it approaches 60 percent.
  • Likewise, people experiencing and diagnosed with pain in Japan have the lowest satisfaction with their prescription treatments, with only 14 percent in Japan saying they are very or extremely satisfied with their prescription pain medication.
  • Satisfaction is also comparatively low in China and the UK, at 34 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

“Cultural attitudes may come into play with self-reporting and treating pain; patients in Asia, for example, may not experience pain less frequently but may be less willing to admit to their condition than patients in the West,” Fronstin said. “The fact that less than half of pain patients globally are satisfied with their prescription treatments points to a huge unmet need in this market.”

Pain affects hundreds of millions of people globally. Interact with our infographic to see how prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of pain differ by country.

About PainMPact™
Findings were drawn from PainMPact, composed of propriety healthcare data and insights from Kantar Health. PainMPact offers the most comprehensive view of the global pain therapy market, including direct insights derived from patients across more than 20 types of pain with relevant depth of detail, enabling healthcare stakeholders to easily and comprehensively evaluate the pain market, including both acute and chronic breakouts, severity level and drug treatments.

PainMPact includes projected epidemiology for diagnosed and undiagnosed patients utilizing results from Kantar Health’s patient-centered research and insight, which provides data only attainable from patients directly. PainMPact also contains key insights into promising new molecules in clinical development for treating pain.

About Kantar Health
Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies worldwide. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 700+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. For more information, please visit

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Stacy Sevcik
Kantar Health
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since: 09/2009
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