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2019 Australian Pain Society 39th Annual Scientific Meeting

2019 Australian Pain Society 39th Annual Scientific MeetingIn the IASP Global Year Against Pain in the Most Vulnerable7 - 10 April 2019 | Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, QLD

Sponsored Sessions

Monday 8 April 2019 - 7:15am - 8:15am (includes breakfast) - Registrations still open for this session - contact the APS 2019 Conference Secretariat to add this to your registration.

'Is fibromyalgia still the Cinderella illness?' - Dr Mary-Ann Fitzcharles 

'Towards a neurophysiological signature for fibromyalgia'  - Professor Tor Wager

Dr. Mary Fitzcharles is currently an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at McGill University. She has been on faculty at McGill University since 1984, and has been a consultant rheumatologist to the McGill Pain Centre, at the Montreal General Hospital for the past five years. In the past 10 years, research interests have been in the area of pain and rheumatic diseases.

Publications have been in the area of chronic pain in fibromyalgia, alternative treatments use in rheumatic diseases, and more recently evaluation of the pain experience in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Other research activities include evaluation of new compounds in the management of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia syndrome.

Professor Tor Wager 

Professor Tor Wager is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Since 2010, he has directed Boulder’s Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience laboratory.

Much of the lab’s work centers on the neurophysiology of pain and emotion and how they are shaped by cognitive and social influences. In particular, he is interested in how thoughts and beliefs influence affective experiences and learning, and brain-body communication.


Monday 8 April 2019 - 7:15am - 8:15am (includes breakfast) - Registration required

'Is there a role for opioids in patients with chronic non-cancer pain?'

Presenter: Professor Milton Cohen

Professor Milton Cohen is a specialist pain medicine physician and rheumatologist on the St Vincent's Sydney Campus. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and a past Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. Dr Cohen has been a leader in the development of pain medicine as a discipline, in the education and training of pain physicians and in bringing the plight of the person in pain to the attention of the broader medical community. He has contributed chapters on pain to many textbooks and has written and spoken on topics as diverse as challenges to clinical reasoning and the ethics of opioid treatment. Dr Cohen's interests are broad and include issues in pain theory and practice, rational pharmacotherapy for pain and implications of persistent pain for public policy or, as he puts it, "from the spinal cord to the supreme court".

The role of opioids in the management of patients with chronic non-cancer pain is the subject of hotly contested controversy that essentially pitches evidence against empiricism. This session is not intended to resolve this controversy but rather to provide a map and compass to help the clinician navigate these difficult waters more effectively. Discussion will revolve around the following themes:

  • there are two “epidemics” occurring in parallel: one is inappropriate use of opioids (and indeed of other drugs), the other is chronic non-cancer pain itself
  • the phenotype of "chronic pain” is complex and needs to be assessed in a sociopsychobiomedical framework
  • drug therapy for patients with chronic non-cancer pain is only part of a multifaceted if not also multidisciplinary treatment approach
  • any pharmacotherapy, including opioids, for patients with chronic non-cancer pain is always an ongoing trial of therapy
  • in order to be effective pharmacotherapists for patients with chronic non-cancer pain, prescribers must have detailed knowledge of the pharmacology of all drugs used and of the regulations concerning their use

Tuesday 9 April 2019, 7:15 – 8:15 am (includes breakfast) - Registration required

iX Biopharma 

'Sublingual Ketamine Wafer: Phase 2b Results of Wafermine in Acute Post-Operative Pain'

Presenters: Dr Janakan Krishnarajah, MBBS FRACP

Dr Krishnarajah, Chief Medical Officer of iX Biopharma Ltd, will present clinical trial results from the recently completed US Phase 2b study of Wafermine (sublingual ketamine wafer) in acute, moderate to severe post-operative pain. The study was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and enrolled 125 subjects who were administered multiple doses of Wafermine or placebo following either orthopaedic or soft tissue surgery.

Dr Krishnarajah will also present a review of the recent literature on the usage of ketamine for pain management including a summary of the recent consensus guidelines on the use of intravenous ketamine from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Monday 8 April 2019, 5:30pm - 6:30pm - includes canapés and drinks - Registration required

'Emerging Targets in Chronic Pain: Understanding Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)'

Presenters: Professor Richard Langford MB, BS, FRCA, FFPMRCA

Chronic pain remains a management challenge.  Limited advancement in this challenging therapeutic area means that healthcare professionals have had few new options to offer their patients.  After many years of investigation, a novel potential therapeutic target is emerging – Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This symposium will specifically consider:

  • The classifications, epidemiology and unmet needs in the clinical management of chronic pain
  • The lack of evidence for opioid effectiveness in chronic pain and the individual and societal issues with opioids
  • The role of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in chronic pain and;
  • Provide an overview of the clinical development of novel approaches to target Nerve Growth Factor in chronic pain management

Tuesday 9 April 2019, 7:15am - 8:15am - (includes breakfast) - Registration required

'Understanding Opiod Harm. Insights gained from Australian data'

Presenters: Dr Natasa Gisev and Dr Malcolm Hogg

Opioids differ in the extent to which they are likely to be associated with problematic use due to different potencies, pharmacokinetic characteristics, and propensities for dependence. Given the broader context of rising rates of pharmaceutical opioid use and harms in Australia, monitoring use and extra-medical use of opioid formulations is critical. This presentation examines data from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) on pharmaceutical opioids pertaining to these factors in the post-marketing setting in Australia. What are appropriate service responses to opioid use in the community? A/Prof Hogg will explore clinical implications for persistent pain practitioners. Discussion will be based around in-hospital and community management options, including discharge policy, hospital medical officer training, transition clinics, GP education/communication, the recent introduction of the safe script monitoring system and the role of atypical opioids.