In This Report

The latest estimates are that over 100 million adults in the U.S. have chronic pain, while upwards of 1.5 billion individuals worldwide suffer from pain related to cancer treatment and other conditions.

Pain has many definitions and can be subjective, multifaceted and is a bio-psycho-social experience.3 Consequently, pain is hard to treat effectively and billions are being spent on drugs, surgeries, devices, therapies and alternative and complementary medicine to care for those suffering from the range of conditions that make up the acute, chronic and psychosomatic pain continuum. Much of that care, however, is fragmented and uncoordinated. Through our research of the pain management market* we’ve become convinced that the millions of patients seeking pain treatment in the U.S. could benefit from a more integrated and coordinated care approach.

We identified over 7,000 physicians in the U.S. who market themselves as being focused on the treatment of pain for a range of conditions. However, there are countless articles and papers stating that many pain patients aren’t being properly diagnosed by primary care providers, and as a result don’t understand or benefit from the myriad of available pain treatment options. One overarching reason we found is that many physicians have inadequate training and thus knowledge of pain management and that a coordinated care approach like those delivered within multi-disciplinary specialty care clinics could not only enhance the treatment of pain, but also make it more accessible and effective.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the annual economic costs of pain in the U.S. are $635 billion, not including additional incremental medical care and productivity costs.4 This is one reason why the industry has seen an increase in specialized approaches to addressing pain-centric conditions like migraines and fibromyalgia, and it helps explain the recent capital activity in pain management businesses such as Catterton Partners’ 2014 investment in Pain Doctor, Chicago Growth Partners’ 2013 recapitalization of Advanced Pain Management and the growth of Prospira PainCare which is backed by Pulse Equity and Webster Capital. Aside from investment activities in pain management services businesses, medical technology investments are occurring as well, including Medtronic’s recent $200 million acquisition of brain function company, Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation.

U.S. healthcare is grappling with an increasing number of newly insured individuals, as well as the growing trend of more surgeries, an aging population and an evolving understanding of the relationship between prescription medications, mental health, and pain. Our belief is that the market should embrace both a wider net for the patients deemed eligible and appropriate for pain management, as well as less costly and more effective outpatient and non-surgical interventions. In our view, pain management businesses that offer a more coordinated approach to care delivery can make a meaningful difference clinically, reduce care costs and also achieve meaningful growth.