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Botulinum Toxin A for the Treatment of Chronic Lumbar Back Pain

One hundred sixty subjects will be randomly assigned to one of four arms (placebo/placebo, placebo/BOTOX®, BOTOX®/placebo, BOTOX®/BOTOX®). In the first of two phases, randomized subjects will blindly receive either BOTOX® (study arms BOTOX®/placebo and BOTOX®/BOTOX®) or placebo (study arms placebo/placebo and placebo/BOTOX®) injection into the lumbar paraspinal muscles. The subjects will be assessed using validated scales for pain and disability prior to injection and monthly thereafter for four months. In the second phase, a second set of lumbar injections will be administered based on the initial randomization and will blindly receive either BOTOX® (study arms placebo/BOTOX® and BOTOX®/BOTOX®) or placebo (study arms placebo/placebo and BOTOX®/placebo) injection into the lumbar paraspinal muscles. The subjects will again be assessed using the same validated scales for pain and disability, prior to injection and monthly thereafter, but for six months to extend the monitor ...

BOTOX® Helps With Post Stroke Pain

Final results from a multi-center study shows that repeated treatments of botulinum toxin type A (BoNTA or BOTOX®) over one year is well tolerated and results in a significant decrease in spasticity, pain frequency and average pain intensity in upper limbs following stroke, according to research from a neurologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.Significant improvements in these outcome measures indicate a better quality of life for post-stroke patients suffering from spasticity-related pain, according to the researchers who presented their findings today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston. Spasticity is a disabling condition that leaves the muscles and tendons permanently shortened and inhibits movement."In the clinical setting, limb stiffness and pain are the most commonly reported symptoms of spasticity following a stroke, and relief of spasticity-related pain is a priority treatment goal for many patients," said Allison Brashear, ...

Health Plans Use New Strategies to Control the Soaring Costs of Oncology

The same medical advances that are transforming cancer from a life-threatening acute condition to a chronic issue are challenging health insurers and other payers struggling to pay for the soaring costs of treatment. In response, insurers are focusing on both the condition and the cure, rolling out intensive disease management (DM) programs to improve care for oncology patients while also tackling the soaring cost of cancer medications. Cancer trails only heart disease as the leading cause of death in America, and is diagnosed in more than 1 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health insurers bear high treatment costs for the condition. Aetna, Inc. with 14.8 million medical members as of Dec. 31, 2005, spent $978 million on 2005 oncology treatments. Physician costs accounted for the largest share, 58%, followed by hospital spending at 25%, skilled nursing and other facility care at 7% and specialty pharmacy costs, also at 7%. ...