Some patients with chronic back pain do not feel sufficient relief with oral medications. For patients with back pain that is difficult to control, intrathecal drug delivery systems (a pain reliever drug delivered directly into the spine) are a potential treatment option.
Intrathecal drug delivery systems involve a pump connected to a small tube implanted in the spine. The system delivers drugs directly to the fluid surrounding the spinal cord (the intrathecal space). By doing so, the medication does not need to go through the digestive system, which may reduce side effects.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews Intrathecal Drug Delivery Systems
To see how effective intrathecal drug delivery systems are in managing chronic cancer or non-malignant back pain, we looked at studies that compared comprehensive pain management strategies that included these systems with strategies that did not.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry has no current plans to change funding for these systems.