A variety of analgesic products are available to specialists managing postoperative pain in the United States, although the majority of these medicines are available as inexpensive generics. Physicians generally rely on multimodal therapy to manage acute postoperative pain, layering drugs in different analgesic classes (e.g., an NSAID / acetaminophen and an opioid), in an attempt to minimize side effects and reduce opioid consumption. Branded products, such as AcelRx’s Dsuvia, Mallinckrodt’s Ofirmev, and Pacira’s Exparel, face market uptake obstacles including hospital adoption and reimbursement constraints. Given the shifting trends in the management of postoperative pain, understanding the treatment algorithm and prescribing drivers is important for marketers of current branded products, as well as developers of emerging therapies.


  •  Which drug classes and agents are used most often for postoperative pain, and in which stages of treatment (intraoperative, postoperative, at discharge) are they administered / prescribed?
  • Which drug formulations are most popular at the different stages of treatment, and which physician type (surgical specialist or anesthesiologist) is most involved in prescribing / administering at each stage?
  • How do physicians characterize recent changes in their treatment of postoperative pain, and what changes to current usage do they expect within the next year?
  • What drives physicians to prescribe / administer select branded therapies, and what are the key obstacles holding them back from using these products?


 United States


Survey of 50 anesthesiologists, 41 surgical specialists, and 11 orthopedic surgeons.


Dsuvia, Nucynta IR / ER, Sprix, Caldolor, Ofirmev, Exparel, generic oral and parenteral opioids, NSAIDs / acetaminophen, and local anesthetics.


Current Treatment: Physician Insights provides physician insights on treatment dynamics, prescribing behavior, and drivers of brand use so that marketers can create specific messaging around these treatment dynamics in order to more effectively increase or defend their market position.

Table of contents

  • Detailed, Expanded Analysis: Post-Operative Pain (US)
    • Current Therapies Postoperative Pain US July 2019

Author(s): Natalie Taylor, PhD

Natalie Taylor, is a Principal Business Insights Analyst with the central nervous system/ophthalmology disorders team at Decision Resources Group. She has over ten years of experience authoring primary and market research reports for pharmaceutical industry clients across multiple psychiatry, pain, neurology, and ophthalmology therapy areas. Prior to joining DRG, Dr. Taylor worked at QuintilesIMS as manager of the central nervous system portfolio of Disease Insights market forecasting offerings. She completed her in Physiology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she studied the role of serotonergic neurons in the medullary raphe on modulating respiratory responses in mammals. She holds a in Biology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.