Chronic low back pain (CLBP), defined as continuous low back pain lasting for at least three months, represents the largest segment of the chronic pain therapy market. Prescription treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioid-based analgesics, antiepileptic drugs, and cytokine inhibitors. Although prescription drug-treatment rates in this population are relatively high, opportunity exists for more-potent yet safe therapies. This content provides quantitative insight into U.S. and European primary care physicians’ perceptions of the key treatment drivers and goals in the management of CLBP, the existing level of unmet need in this indication, and the remaining commercial opportunities.


  • What are the treatment drivers and goals for CLBP?
  • What drug attributes are key influencers, which have limited impact, and which are hidden opportunities?
  • How do current therapies such as tramadol ER (Janssen’s Ultram ER, Grünenthal’s Contramal, other brands, generics) and Duexis (Horizon Therapeutics’ ibuprofen / famotidine; in the United States) perform on key treatment drivers and goals for CLBP?
  • What are the top areas of unmet need and opportunity in CLBP?
  • What trade-offs in drug price and drug performance across key drug attributes are surveyed U.S. PCPs and European GPs willing to make?


Provides quantitative insight into U.S. and European physician perceptions of key treatment drivers and goals and the current level of unmet need for a specific disease. Commercial opportunities are analyzed, and the extent to which emerging therapies may capitalize on these opportunities is evaluated.

Markets covered: United States, France, Germany, United Kingdom

Primary research: Survey of 60 U.S. PCPs and 31 European GPs fielded in January 2020.

Key companies: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Horizon Therapeutics, Janssen, Pfizer, Purdue

Key drugs: Celecoxib, Duexis (ibuprofen / famotidine), fentanyl transdermal patch, oxycodone CR, pregabalin, tramadol ER, triamcinolone (injectable)

Table of contents

  • Chronic Pain - Unmet Need - Detailed, Expanded Analysis - Chronic Low Back Pain (US/EU)

Author(s): Bethany A. Kiernan, PhD

Bethany A. Kiernan, Ph.D., is a senior director in the central nervous system/ophthalmology disorders unit of Decision Resources Group. While at Decision Resources Group, Dr. Kiernan has covered the market dynamics of numerous indications, including schizophrenia, depression, migraine, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and other disorders.

Dr. Kiernan’s previous experience includes eight years of scientific research conducted at Tufts University School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and the College of the Holy Cross. Dr. Kiernan earned her Ph.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University.

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