$3 million gift from Purdue Pharma
to support MGH Pain Program
BOSTON February 5, 2002 A significant gift
to the Massachusetts General Hospital from Purdue
Pharma L.P. of Stamford, Conn., will support a range of programs
aimed at improving the understanding and management of the most
common symptom of illness and injury pain. The $3 million
commitment from the Purdue Pharma Fund will be used to develop and
expand opportunities for health care professionals to learn more
about the wide range of tools and techniques for managing and treating
pain. The grant also will be used to enhance the hospitals
clinical research efforts focused on pain.
To recognize this contribution, the hospitals pain program
will be named the MGH
Purdue Pharma Pain Center.
"Purdue Pharma and the MGH share an unwavering commitment
to finding ways to alleviate acute and chronic pain," says
Jane Ballantyne, MD, an MGH anesthesiologist and director of the
hospitals Pain Center. "Too many people today continue
to experience pain despite the increasing number of pain relief
measures available. This generous gift from Purdue will assist us
in finding ways to clear up misconceptions and misunderstandings
about pain and provide caregivers with the knowledge and resources
they need to help patients who are suffering from pain, perhaps
The educational initiatives that the Purdue gift will support at
the MGH include development of courses that will offer educators
in the health professions up-to-date information about pain along
with the educational tools and effective teaching methods they need.
Other efforts involve sponsoring continuing medical education courses
for medical professionals and developing and distributing educational
materials such as books, pamphlets, posters, slides and presentations.
Pain management is a relatively new field, according to Ballantyne.
Dealing with pain as an entity itself rather than as just a symptom
of an underlying disorder has become more of a focus in recent years
as scientists have advanced the understanding of pain mechanisms
and pain as a disease process, including at the molecular and genetic
"Clinical researchers and caregivers are evaluating new and
effective treatments, improving existing therapies and developing
new paradigms for managing pain," Ballantyne says. "The
integration of research and education is crucial in translating
our rapidly expanding knowledge into improvements in clinical care."
In 1982 the MGH established a multidisciplinary pain center, recognizing
the benefits of fully assessing and analyzing pain and tailoring
its management to individual patients needs. Staff members
in the Pain Center anesthesiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists,
psychologists, nurses and physical therapists collaborate
with primary care practitioners as well as physicians from virtually
every specialty, providing diagnosis, consultation and around-the-clock
inpatient and outpatient treatment.
The MGH Pain Center, which has expanded greatly during the past
two decades, has remained committed to evaluating new pain therapies,
techniques and practices. The center has helped shape the field
of pain management, identifying many of todays best practices,
conducting innovative clinical and basic research, and disseminating
information and results to the health care community.
"The MGH has long been a leader in the field of pain,"
says Paul Goldenheim, MD, executive vice president, Worldwide Research
and Development at Purdue Pharma. "We are pleased that Purdue
Pharma can support and work closely with the hospital to continue
advancing the understanding of pain treatment and management. Our
mutual efforts to expand the training of physicians, nurses and
other health care providers and to support clinical research efforts
will ultimately help the more than 50 million people who each day
deal with the consequences of pain."
Purdue Pharmas gift to the MGH is the largest and one of
the first contributions associated with the companys recently
launched Purdue Pharma Fund, which will focus contributions on nonprofit
organizations dealing with education, treatment and research involving
patients with pain.
"Pain is enormously devastating and debilitating, and those
who experience pain deserve nothing less than our undivided attention,
our creative thinking and our best efforts," says Warren Zapol,
MD, chief of Anesthesia
at the MGH. "Purdue Pharma and the MGH are both committed to
helping all health care providers gain a better understanding and
a deeper appreciation of the importance of accurately diagnosing
and aggressively managing this insidious disease called pain.
Thanks to Purdue Pharmas wonderful gift, we can move closer
and closer toward achieving this goal."
Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original
and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The 870-bed
academic medical center annually admits 42,000 patients and records
nearly 1.5 million visits in its extensive outpatient programs.
The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in
the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $300
million and major research centers in AIDS, anesthesia, cancer,
cardiovascular research, cutaneous biology, the neurosciences, orthopedics,
pain science, photomedicine and transplantation biology. In 1994,
the MGH joined with Brigham and Womens Hospital to form Partners
HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery system comprising
the two academic medical centers, specialty and community hospitals,
a network of physician groups and nonacute and home health services.
Purdue Pharma L.P., headquartered in Stamford, CT, is a privately
held pharmaceutical company known for its pioneering research on
chronic pain. The company is engaged in the research, development,
production and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter
medicines and hospital products. As the sponsor of Partners Against
Pain®, Purdue encourages the therapeutic alliance of patients,
their families, caregivers and health care professionals.
Media Contact: Sue
McGreevey , MGH Public Affairs
Physician Referral Service: 1-800-388-4644
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