Postoperative pain comprises one of the larger segments of the total market for acute pain therapies, and it has experienced substantial growth over the past decade due to the market uptake of Mallinckrodt’s Ofirmev and Pacira’s Exparel in the United States. Physicians generally rely on multimodal therapy, a method of layering drugs in different analgesic classes (e.g., an NSAID / acetaminophen and an opioid), to manage acute postoperative pain in an attempt to minimize side effects and reduce opioid consumption. Emerging therapies for postoperative pain will have to demonstrate convincing efficacy, safety, and convenience profiles to gain market share in this highly generic market, and market access will be challenging for emerging products unless a strong value proposition is made.


  • How is the treatment of postoperative pain evolving according to interviewed KOLs? Are patients receiving adequate postoperative pain relief with current therapies despite the movement away from opioid analgesics?
  • What is the market landscape for branded postoperative pain products? What is the sales potential of late-phase emerging therapies? What will be the drivers of and constraints to emerging therapies’ market uptake?
  • What are the prevailing areas of unmet need and opportunity in postoperative pain?
  • How do market access factors constrain the use of more-expensive postoperative pain brands? What can companies do to facilitate the availability and reimbursement of their products?


Geography: United States.

Primary Research: 6 interviews with thought-leading anesthesiologists and surgical specialists; supported by survey data.

Epidemiology: Surgical events resulting in postoperative pain.

Forecast:  Branded drug-level sales in 2019;  sales expectations for current brands and late-phase emerging therapies.

Emerging Therapies: Phase III/PR: 8 drugs.


Special Topics provides comprehensive market intelligence with world-class epidemiology, keen insight into current treatment paradigms, unmet need and market opportunity, market access factors, in-depth pipeline assessments, and emerging drug sales expectations supported by detailed primary and secondary research.

Table of contents

  • Postoperative Pain - Special Topics - Detailed, Expanded Analysis (US) - Special Topics
    • Special Topics Postoperative Pain US August 2020

Author(s): Natalie Taylor, PhD

Natalie Taylor, Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 B.S. in Biology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.