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Education, Patient-Focused Approach to Treating Chronic Pain Are Keys to Preventing Opioid Abuse, Say Experts, Patients
Patients Want Access to a Full Range of FDA-Approved Medications and Pain Relief That Lasts for the Duration of the Prescribed Dosing

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When leading health care professionals, chronic pain patients and pain community advocates gathered recently to kick off National Pain Awareness Month, their discussions quickly turned to the challenge of balancing public health concerns about opioid abuse and the unmet medical needs of millions of Americans whose daily lives are severely impacted by their chronic pain. The roundtables were hosted by Zogenix Inc. (Nasdaq:ZGNX), a pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products for the treatment of pain-related and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Zogenix also sponsored a survey of about 200 chronic pain patients to better understand this important stakeholder voice.

The health care professionals overwhelmingly agreed that education will play a critical role in combating the nation's prescription drug problem and strongly urged that chronic pain remain a top priority. "I believe that education is at the heart of this issue, and there needs to be mandatory education at the federal level. All opioid prescribers need to be educated (primary care, other specialists) about appropriate prescribing and learn the expected outcomes that allow continued prescribing," said Christopher Gharibo, M.D., Associate Professor; Director of Chronic Pain Management, Departments of Anesthesiology and Orthopedic Surgery, NYU Anesthesia Associates. For more from the expert panel discussion, click here.

Patients also stressed the importance of educating health care providers, legislators, news media and the general public on the distinctions between chronic pain and drug abuse. "We need to bust some myths about abuse and people with pain. People with chronic pain take medication to relieve the pain. People with addiction often move from medication to medication or use illegal medications because they have a craving they need to satisfy. That's a very different group of people and that message isn't out there," said Cindy Steinberg, Director of National Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation. For more from the patient panel discussion, click here.

An online survey of 202 U.S. adults who currently experience chronic pain conducted in August 2014 by Harris Poll on behalf of Zogenix provided additional context around the patient perspective. In terms of living with chronic pain, patients most commonly mentioned controlling the pain as a challenge in living with the condition (72 percent). The survey also showed the challenges patients face in achieving pain relief, as more than 90 percent of people surveyed currently taking prescription opioid medication at least occasionally experience breakthrough pain (91 percent). Of people who experience breakthrough pain, sleeping through the night is most negatively impacted (72 percent). Moreover, among those who experience breakthrough pain at least always to frequently, 41 percent take their opioid medication before they are due for another dose, potentially putting them at risk for unintentional overdose.i

The survey also revealed the need for better education, with the vast majority of patients citing an array of resources, including health care providers (76 percent), helpful for learning more about chronic pain and available treatment options. Further, better education could help patients navigate the challenges some face in securing access to treatment.

-  Over one-quarter of people living with chronic pain are not satisfied with the information their doctor has provided about available chronic pain treatment options (28 percent).

-  Twenty-eight percent of patients currently using a prescription opioid pain medication have had trouble getting their prescription filled.

"The voices of people living with severe chronic pain have been noticeably absent from most public conversations about prescription pain medications, and we are actively working with all stakeholders to ensure a balanced, constructive dialogue moving forward," said Roger Hawley, chief executive officer of Zogenix. "The candid feedback we've received from the pain community confirms that there is no 'one size fits all' solution to managing chronic pain. It also reaffirms that involving all participants in comprehensive system-wide approach can have a meaningful impact on prescription drug abuse in this country. As we work towards that goal, we have instituted sensible commercial practices that are already making a difference."

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States between August 22-27, 2014 among 202 adults aged 18 and older who are currently experiencing chronic pain by Harris Poll on behalf of Zogenix Inc. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll

On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE:NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

About Zogenix

Zogenix, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZGNX) is a pharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing therapies that address specific clinical needs for people living with pain-related conditions and CNS disorders who need innovative treatment alternatives to help them return to normal daily functioning.

For more information about Zogenix, please visit: www.Zogenix.com.

i Small base (n<100) - Results should be viewed as directional in nature

CONTACT: Media
         David Polk | Chandler Chicco Companies
         310.309.1029 | DPolk@chandlerchiccocompanies.com
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