Industry analysts estimate that more than 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from chronic pain, making it the number one reason patients seek medical care. In fact, studies have shown that pain leads to more than 50 million lost workdays each year. The cost of pain, including medical bills and lost workdays, is estimated at $100 billion per year. The US market for pain-management therapeutics is estimated to generate more than $40 billion annually and is predicted to grow to $60 billion by 2015. This market includes treatments for a wide range of conditions including postoperative pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, migraine pain, neuropathic pain, and back pain. This medical segment consists of products such as opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, local anesthetics, tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, patient controlled dosing, implants, and electrical stimulation.

In the United States a tremendous demographic shift has started. Beginning in 2011, the first of 78 million baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) started the transition to retirement, kicking off an expansion in the number of elderly people that will continue for decades. According to the US Census Bureau, 1 out of every 9 baby boomers will live to at least age 90. The growth in the number of patients to feed the pain market will follow these demographic trends. The need to address acute and chronic pain will rise alongside an increasingly aging population. Other factors affecting the future of the pain-management segment include a growing number of surgical procedures being performed, changing lifestyles, and the increasing incidence of cancer. Providing solutions for pain prevention and treatment continues to garner the attention of R&D managers and other industry executives.