Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a debilitating pain condition characterized by persistent pain, typically in distal limbs, with intensity and symptomology disproportionate to any underlying injury. Symptoms include hyperalgesia and/or allodynia, changes to skin color and/or temperature, edema and/or sweating, motor dysfunction, and musculoskeletal atrophy in the affected limb. No therapies are approved specifically for the treatment of CRPS, leading physicians to use a host of pharmacological, behavioral, and interventional therapies to provide symptom relief, which often results in suboptimal analgesia. As such, the unmet need in this indication is extraordinarily high, providing ample commercial opportunity for a new drug to improve CRPS treatment.


  • In the absence of therapies with a CRPS label, what are surveyed pain specialists’ opinions of the relative performance of select therapies frequently prescribed for CRPS (e.g., pregabalin [Lyrica, generics], gabapentin, prednisolone, ketamine) on key efficacy, safety / tolerability, and convenience of administration attributes?
  • What are the top areas of unmet need and opportunity in CRPS?
  • Based on the responses of surveyed pain specialists, what level of unmet need exists on key drug performance attributes?
  • What trade-offs in drug price and drug performance across key drug attributes are surveyed pain specialists 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, United Kingdom, France, Germany

Primary research: Survey of 60 U.S. and 31 European pain specialists fielded in January and February 2020.

Key companies: Collegium Pharmaceutical, Merck, Mission Pharmacal, Pfizer, Purdue Pharma

Key drugs: Alendronate (Fosamax, Binosto, other brands, generics), dimethyl sulfoxide (topical), gabapentin (Neurontin, generics), ketamine (Ketalar, Spravato, generics), oxycodone ER (OxyContin, Xtampza ER, generics), prednisolone, pregabalin (Lyrica, generics)

Table of contents

  • Chronic Pain - Unmet Need - Detailed, Expanded Analysis: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (US/FR/DEU/UK)

Author(s): Joyce Spadafora, ALM

Joyce is a business insights analyst in Decision Resources Group’s central nervous systems and ophthalmology division, where she provides expert insight into commercial aspects of drug development and market sizing across psychiatric and pain indications. She has worked extensively in DRG’s schizophrenia and chronic pain content.

Prior to joining DRG, Joyce spent several years in the biotech industry focused in research and development and in biotech consulting. Her project experience covered indications including psychiatry, pain, infectious diseases, respiratory, and ophthalmology. Beyond my therapeutic and industry knowledge, she holds a Masters in Extension Studies in Psychology from Harvard University and a B.S in Mechanical Engineering with Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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