Dr. Peter Butt, an addictions consultant for the Saskatoon Health Region, issued a national appeal in the pages of the Toronto Globe and Mail for help in combating opioid addiction for chronic pain.

“We need to find new ways of helping treat people with chronic pain without prescribing them opoids”, he told his interviewer. “If you constantly chase chronic pain, it’ll just keep coming back, and the dose of opioids will just escalate and escalate to a point where there’s a problem.”

He adds that the new National Guidelines for Opioid Prescriptions are clear that ”doctors should only use opioids as a ‘last resort’ for people with chronic, non-cancer pain.” However as the world’s populations age, and as chronic pain becomes more of a daily fact of life for many people, there is an urgent need for alternatives.

This crisis is one of the reasons why Vancouver-based Medipure Pharmaceuticals Inc. has become part of a global effort to find alternatives to powerful opoids such as oxycodone, hydromorphone and the fentanyl patch. In collaboration with renowned national and international institutions, Medipure is  developing molecules targeting  the endocannabinoid system, as powerful yet safe prescription medications for chronic pain.

Although they share an interest in the cannabinoid molecules, this groundbreaking research is far removed from the medical marijuana industry. By developing analgesic molecules through natural, chemical and biological approaches, Medipure’s research will ultimately follow the standards and regulations inherent in the drug development policy of Health Canada and the FDA.

This work by Medipure Pharmaceuticals Inc. is offering new hope to physicians, health care providers and public/private health care plans, that a new horizon is opening up for chronic pain management.

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