Easing the Challenge of Pain

Pain is one of the most significant healthcare problems we face today. It impacts hundreds of millions of people across the world, profoundly affecting their quality of life and costing society countless billions of dollars in treatment along with lost productivity.

Teva is working hard to address this global challenge, and to bring back a measure of quality to the lives of those patients living with pain.

Teva’s extensive pain care franchise includes a range of investigational, approved and marketed treatments for migraine, breakthrough cancer pain, and for the treatment of chronic neuropathic and nociceptive pain associated with conditions such as painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), osteoarthritis, and low back pain. 

The impact of Chronic Pain on Patients and Society

  • 20% of the global adult population suffers from moderate to severe chronic pain*.
  • 1 in 10 adults is newly diagnosed with chronic pain each year*.
  • 100M Americans suffer from chronic pain - more than diabetes, chronic heart disease, and cancer combined*.

* International Association for the Study of Pain

Bringing More Relief to Patients

Pain is the most common reason patients go to see the doctor. A recent survey in Europe* found that chronic pain occurs in nearly 20% of adult Europeans and in one third of Americans - an estimated 100 million people.**

While chronic pain is a significant health care problem, it is also a major social problem that seriously affects the quality of people’s social and working lives. The impact of pain includes difficulties with basic everyday activities such as walking, dressing and sleeping, and extends to depression, job loss and family breakdown.

The treatment of pain is also currently insufficient. The same survey found that very few pain sufferers were managed by pain specialists. In fact, almost 50% received inadequate pain management, and relied on over-the-counter medication.

Where patients do have access to chronic pain treatment, they face potential risks including developing drug tolerance, increased sensitivity to pain, and dependence on opioid medications.

* International Association for the Study of Pain
** The Institute of Medicine (IOM)

A Focused Portfolio of Solutions

The difficulties in combatting pain are in part due to the fact that the mechanisms underlying pain are not fully understood. With advancing knowledge and technology, it is now possible to develop treatments that target pain more precisely and effectively than ever before.

Our R&D group is developing a focused portfolio of solutions that looks across the spectrum of pain states, including chronic nociceptive pain, cancer pain, chronic neuropathic pain and migraine. 

We are bringing more relief to patients by enhancing our opioid-based treatments. At the same time, we are addressing some of the key challenges associated with opioids. We are doing this through a broad New Therapeutic Entity (NTE) approach, focusing on abuse deterrent formulations using our proprietary CIMA technology.

In parallel, we continue to develop novel therapies for the treatment of pain including non-opioid alternatives.

Abuse Deterrent (AD) opioids for Cancer and Chronic Pain

Opioids are the most prescribed medications for the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Originally used to treat cancer-related pain, their use has expanded over the past 10 to 15 years to the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain.

The impact of opioid abuse is staggering. In the US alone, 1 in 20 over the age of 12 have abused opioid medications*. This results in nearly 15,000 overdose deaths per year**, an increase of more than 400% in the decade from 1999-2009, as well as nearly 1M emergency room visits in 2010***.

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). CDC Vital Signs: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the US.
** Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
*** Drug and Alcohol Dependence. (2013). National trends in pharmaceutical opioid related overdose deaths compared to other substance related overdose deaths: 1999-2009.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has emphasized the importance of developing abuse deterrent formulations of opioids. We are working to address the problem of opioid abuse and to assure that such medications remain available for use in appropriate patients.

Teva has a large development program in the field of potential abuse deterrent opioids. Teva’s proprietary CIMA technology is an abuse deterrent technology for oral tablets. CIMA is based on a multi-layer gel-forming polymer coating that regulates drug release. CIMA combines three physical and chemical barriers (gelling, barrier and matrix) as a deterrent against the main forms of abuse: Crushing for snorting, IV extraction and dose dumping in alcohol. We are developing a broad abuse deterrent opioid portfolio based on CIMA technology. 

Osteoarthritis Pain and Neuropathic Pain

Remarkable individuals born without the ability to feel pain are providing fresh insight into the biological mechanisms behind pain. Their natural insensitivity to pain points the way to new methods of treatment and the possibility of turning off pain. Teva is pursuing these insights to bring relief of pain to millions of patients worldwide. Read more about people living without the ability to feel pain >

Teva is developing novel approaches to the treatment of a range of pain disorders. In osteoarthritis and neuropathic pain, we are pursuing novel reformulations through our NTE process. We are also investigating new targets for treatments such as voltage gated sodium channels.

Teva is currently working on treatments for pain that focus on Nav1.7, a novel non-opioid target in pain. By blocking NaV1.7 peripherally, we expect to be able to reduce pain without dose-limiting tolerability concerns.

We are currently developing a novel non-opioid analgesic (a Nav1.7 blocker) in a topical formulation. The topical formulation is designed to deliver relief of pain from osteoarthritis of the knee as a main indication. It may also address pain associated with other neuropathic pain conditions, including Post Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) and Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN).