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News Release

News Release

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New Data Quantifying the Effects of Opioid Use on Patient Care and Economic Outcomes Presented at Key Medical Meetings

Impact of Opioid-Related Adverse Drug Events on Total Hospital Cost Presented at American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) Meeting

Impact of Opioid Use and Ileus Presented at International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Meeting

PARSIPPANY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 5, 2012-- Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCRX) today announced new data that demonstrate opioid-related adverse drug events (ORADEs) following laparoscopic or open gastrointestinal (GI) surgeries increased total hospitalization costs by up to $12,724 and as much as doubled the length of hospital stay (LOS), depending on the type of surgical procedure performed. These findings were presented today during a poster session at the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Data from this regional retrospective analysis were drawn from 26 participating member hospitals of VHA Southeast (a regional office of VHA, Inc.), and included patients who underwent select laparoscopic or open GI surgeries and received opioid-based pain management regimens from January 2009 to December 2010. The research was supported by Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Compared to patients who did not experience an ORADE:

  • Mean total hospitalization costs increased by $7,949 and $12,724 for patients experiencing an ORADE after a laparoscopic or open GI procedure, respectively.
  • Mean LOS was 1.5-1.9 times and 1.3-2.0 times longer for patients experiencing an ORADE after a laparoscopic or open GI procedure, respectively.

“These types of analyses continue to quantify the significant impact opioids have on our patients and the economics of hospital care in the United States,” said Dave Stack, president and CEO of Pacira Pharmaceuticals. “These data demonstrate that even in laparoscopic procedures, which are less invasive and intended to provide quicker patient recovery, opioid-related adverse events including nausea, vomiting, constipation, urinary retention and respiratory depression can significantly impact patient healing and hospital discharge.”

Additionally, new national data on the impact of ileus following postsurgical opioid use were presented during a poster session held today at the 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) in Washington, D.C. Ileus is a partial or complete blockage of the small and/or large intestine resulting in greatly impaired or lost bowel function. It is a complication significantly associated with abdominal procedures that can be exacerbated by opioid use.

In this analysis, researchers utilized the Premier healthcare alliance’s database—the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information—to identify adult patients who received opioids after undergoing laparoscopic or open colectomy or cholecystectomy procedures from 2008 to 2010. One in 10 patients included in the study experienced ileus, which can tremendously impact patient recovery.

This analysis, also supported by Pacira Pharmaceuticals, demonstrated that higher opioid doses were associated with higher incidence of ileus. In each surgical group, total opioid consumption (converted to the morphine-equivalent dose [MED]) that exceeded the median MED was associated with significantly increased total hospitalization costs, LOS, and 30-day readmission rates, even for patients undergoing laparoscopic procedures, where the incidence of ileus is typically less common.

For the total population of patients experiencing ileus compared to those who did not:

  • Mean total hospitalization costs increased by $15,928 ($31,374 vs $15,446, respectively; P<0.0001)
  • Mean LOS increased by 7.3 days (13.6 days vs 6.3 days, respectively; P<0.0001)
  • Thirty-day readmission rates were approximately 6% higher (16.1% vs 10.2%, respectively; P<0.0001)

About Pacira

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCRX) is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the clinical and commercial development of new products that meet the needs of acute care practitioners and their patients. The company's current emphasis is the development of non-opioid products for postsurgical pain control, and three commercially available products have utilized the Pacira proprietary product delivery technology DepoFoam®, a unique platform that encapsulates drugs without altering their molecular structure and then releases them over a desired period of time. Additional information about Pacira is available at

Source: Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
James S. Scibetta, 973-254-3570
Chief Financial Officer
Pure Communications, Inc.
Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085
Vice President, Media Relations