Press Release

SCILEX Pharmaceuticals Reports First-Line Treatments Including Lidocaine Patches for Post-Herpetic Neuralgia Are Significantly Underutilized

MALVERN, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SCILEX Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company engaged in the development and commercialization of products focused on the treatment of pain, reported data on how healthcare providers are currently treating patients with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) and how their prescribing choices compare with recommended guidelines. The data were presented in two studies at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

“Treatment Patterns and Medication Use in Patients with Post-Herpetic Neuralgia”

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A study titled “Treatment Patterns and Medication Use in Patients with Post-Herpetic Neuralgia” (Abstract #B02) found that despite evidence-based guidelines for PHN from the American Academy of Neurology and other bodies, recommended first-line treatments are underutilized in PHN patients. These recommended treatments, which include lidocaine patches as well as gabapentin, pregabalin or tricyclic antidepressants, were found to have been prescribed to 29 percent of a total of 63,271 PHN patients identified via examination of pharmacy and medical claims in the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental database. In contrast, more than one in five (22 percent) of PHN patients were found to be started on opioids as first-line treatment and nine percent were started on NSAIDs as first-line treatment. These analyses indicate substantial opportunity for provider and payer education regarding the benefits of improved adherence to guidelines for first-line PHN treatment.

A second study, titled “Opioid Analgesic Use and Polypharmacy Is Routine in the Treatment of Post-Herpetic Neuralgia; a Potential Role for Managed Care Intervention?” (Abstract #B27), found that among 5,033 PHN patients identified using Cerner HealthFacts®, an electronic database of aggregated, de-identified clinical and administrative data from 614 US hospitals and health systems, 35 percent received opioid analgesics, and opioids were most often used as first-line therapy when prescribed despite recommendations that they be used as second- or third-line agents. In contrast, topical lidocaine was prescribed for 21.7 percent of patients. The data also indicated a high degree of analgesic polypharmacy that potentially contributes to adverse effects. In light of opioids’ prevalence in PHN treatment despite well-documented safety issues, the study recommended that appropriate pharmacological management should be based not only on efficacy but also safety and tolerability. The study suggested that clinician adherence to evidence-based treatment guidelines appears suboptimal and that managed care organizations and pharmacists have an opportunity to assist in applying evidence-based guidelines and raise awareness regarding the potential risks associated with frequent prescribing of opioid analgesics and CNS depressants to PHN patients. The poster of this abstract received a silver medal at the AMCP 2016 Annual Meeting.

Abstracts for both studies can be found at the following link:

Anthony P. Mack, CEO of SCILEX Pharmaceuticals, said, “These data show first-line therapies for PHN patients are underutilized. There are a number of first-line therapies including lidocaine topical patches that have been shown to be safe and effective for PHN and can be used as part of a multimodal treatment regimen.”

The AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting is the premier, must-attend meeting for managed care pharmacists; health plan administrators and medical directors; doctors, nurses and other practitioners who work on the pharmacy benefit; formulary decision-makers; and Medicare Part D and Medicaid administrators.

About SCILEX Pharmaceuticals

SCILEX Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in Malvern, PA, responsibly develops and brings branded pharmaceutical products to market using groundbreaking technologies that maximize quality of life for all. We are uncompromising in our focus to become the global pharmaceutical leader committed to social, environmental, economic, and ethical responsibility. Dedicated to using our internal partnerships, we deliver the next generation of trailblazing products that are responsible by design. The Company’s lead product under development, ZTlido™ (lidocaine patch 1.8%), is a branded lidocaine patch formulation for the potential treatment of relieving the pain of postherpetic neuralgia, also referred to as after-shingles pain. For more information visit

ZTlido™ is a trademark owned by SCILEX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. A proprietary name review by the FDA is planned.

HealthFacts is a registered trademark of Cerner Innovation, Inc.