Frost & Sullivan Research Reveals Clinical and Economic Advantages of ON-Q* over Bupivacaine Liposome Injectable Suspension

ON-Q's ability to adapt to changing pain relief needs over the first five days following surgery provides significant benefits for patients and providers

Apr 30, 2014, 09:00 ET from I-Flow, LLC

IRVINE, Calif., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- I-Flow LLC, a Kimberly-Clark Health Care Company and manufacturer of the ON-Q Pain Relief System (ON-Q), today announced the full findings of a Frost & Sullivan white paper documenting clinician perspective that ON-Q delivers superior pain control over the full length of the postoperative period and at a lower cost compared to Bupivacaine Liposome Injectable Suspension.

Frost & Sullivan conducted a survey and interviews with anesthesiologists and pharmacy directors at U.S. hospitals about their experiences with ON-Q and EXPAREL® (Bupivacaine Liposome Injectable Suspension, Pacira Pharmaceuticals). The white paper highlights the benefits of the ON-Q Pain Relief System – a non-narcotic, portable pain relief pump that utilizes a local anesthetic to manage postoperative pain – over EXPAREL for clinically effective and personalized postoperative pain management. The white paper also illuminates the most important criteria for clinicians to consider when evaluating postoperative pain management alternatives, such as: safety and predictability, the ability to tailor pain management to patient needs, and economic impact for providers and payors.

"When it comes to post-op pain management, clinicians' number-one priority is providing the best, healthy outcome to patients – and that often means being able to adjust the treatment plan and change course if needed," said Dr. Joseph Rodrigo, Director of Regional Anesthesia at Roper Hospital (Charleston, South Carolina). "ON-Q enables healthcare professionals to develop a flexible treatment plan that can be quickly and easily modified, allowing for more fine tuning, limiting side effects and ultimately maximizing benefits for patients."

Frost & Sullivan identified three benchmarks that establish ON-Q as the preferred choice of those surveyed over bupivacaine liposome injections for postoperative pain management:

  • Proven clinical effectiveness specific to individual patient needs
  • Safety and predictability rooted in evidence
  • Greater economic value across the entire postoperative period

"Clinicians have emphasized that postoperative pain relief is incredibly personal and patient-specific, and a core part of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores for hospitals," said Charlie Whelan, Lead Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "Our analysis demonstrates that a one-size-fits-all approach is insufficient to meet the needs of most patients. By allowing for titration and adaptation to manage pain individually during the full post-op recovery period, ON-Q provides superior, personalized pain relief."

Both ON-Q and EXPAREL are positioned as alternatives to post-surgical pain control intended to reduce reliance on use of systemic opioids, however only 3 percent of anesthesiologists saw a narcotic reduction with EXPAREL – compared to 58 percent with ON-Q. According to the anesthesiologists involved in the research, the actual duration of pain relief for bupivacaine liposome injections was also significantly shorter than marketed. ON-Q provided superior pain relief from that point forward up to five days. Additionally, the analysis reveals that the average cost per hour of pain relief with bupivacaine liposome injections is $10.04, while ON-Q is $4.60.

"Hospitals consistently evaluate their postoperative pain management programs for factors like cost, patient satisfaction and patient readmissions," said Roger Massengale, General Manager of I-Flow. "This head-to-head comparison highlights ON-Q's advantages in all these areas, making it the preferred choice for patients and clinicians alike."

To download a full copy of the white paper, please visit:  

Frost & Sullivan performed a literature search, administered a survey to a random sample of 31 anesthesiologists and 32 pharmacy directors at U.S. hospitals who had experience with both ON-Q and bupivacaine liposome injection and conducted in-depth interviews with a subset of participants.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's TEAM Research, Growth Consulting, and Growth Team Membership™ empower clients to create a growth-focused culture that generates, evaluates, and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses, and the investment community from more than 45 offices on six continents. For more information about Frost & Sullivan's Growth Partnership Services, visit

About I-Flow
I-Flow, LLC, a Kimberly-Clark Health Care Company, is a global market leader in acute pain and ambulatory medication delivery, driving innovative clinical applications for surgical procedures and regional anesthesia that improve outcomes and advance patient care. Led by its surgical pain management line, the ON-Q Pain Relief System (ON-Q) provides reliable and simple non-narcotic, regional anesthesia therapies that are redefining post-surgical recovery by reducing many of the side effects customarily associated with narcotics. Clinical studies have shown that patients who receive ON-Q products generally get back to normal faster after surgery, resulting in shorter hospital stays, reduced costs and higher patient satisfaction. I-Flow also offers a comprehensive suite of kits and trays for performing peripheral nerve blocks, providing an unmet need and total product solution for I-Flow's clinician customers. Also as part of I-Flow's total solution, the Company offers in-depth training, education, consulting and clinical support along with medical device expertise. For more information, visit