San Diego — Millennium Laboratories, a leading provider of therapeutic drug monitoring and education to physicians and staff treating chronic pain, has announced the launch of a new national research center, the Millennium Research Institute (MRI). The mission of the non-profit Institute is to advance pain management and treatment outcomes through the development and dissemination of pharmacokinetic research.
MRI will focus on research and education that facilitates greater understanding of the treatment of pain, improvements to patient safety and identification and prevention of prescription drug abuse. The Institute plans to accomplish its goals through clinical evidence-based research, medical education programs, collaborative partnerships and advocacy of national standards and guidelines.
Pain management today
One of the most challenging patients in medicine today is the chronic pain patient, especially with drug abuse issues. People in pain are often over-treated or undertreated. Pain management as a discipline is less than a generation old—prior to 1960 there were only a few books on the subject and the current studies in pain management reach out only two to five years.
Reflecting its significance in medicine, pain management has become one of the major issues in hospital accreditation. Pain is now considered the fifth vital sign. In the state of California, for example, physicians must take 12 credit hours of continuing medical education in pain management. This is not required for any other field.
As an evolving medical specialty, the field of pain management calls for greater and more expansive research and education. Millennium Research Institute intends to address this vitally important need.
Laying the groundwork
The Millennium scientific research team, under the leadership of Amadeo Pesce, PhD, MRI's Principal Investigator, has established scientific data regarding the pharmacokinetics of pain medications and the variability of drug metabolism. Millennium Laboratories laid the groundwork for the research institute through peer-reviewed publications and presentations of original research in the fields of toxicology, pharmacokinetics and the combining of illicit and prescription drugs.
James Slattery, Millennium Laboratories Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our initial vision of Millennium Laboratories included establishing a research institute to promote excellence in pain management practice, policy, patient care and laboratory sciences. From our clinical research we recognized an enormous potential to benefit pain practitioners, pain patients and society as a whole by translating our scientific discoveries into practical applications."
Millennium Laboratories President Howard Appel explained, "This led us to the formation of the Millennium Research Institute. We intend to translate the latest scientific knowledge to enhance best practices and procedures for pain practitioners and to influence timely governmental and institutional policies that can be enormously valuable to society. We are delighted to have Kathy Egan City heading the new Institute and its initiatives. Kathy is recognized nationally for her innovation and leadership in research and education."
Introducing MRI's executive director
As the new President and Executive Director of MRI, Kathy Egan City joins the accomplished Millennium researchers to lead collaborations with national, academic and practice research partners that will enhance the future of pain treatment outcomes and patient safety.
Before taking the helm of MRI, Ms. City was the founding Executive Director of Suncoast Institute, the first international hospice and palliative care research, education, and consultation institute, where she served for 20 years. She was also the founding Community Director of the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-life Studies at the University of South Florida, a unique academic and provider partnership center recognized nationally as a model for practical research collaboration in the field of palliative care.
Ms. City stated, "I am excited to join in the work of establishing the Millennium Research Institute as a leading pain research 'think tank,' the focal point of a top-tier interdisciplinary research community through national collaborations with industry, academia and government. We also look forward to enhancing the education of pain and addictions professionals serving the pain population."
Dr. Joseph Shurman, Chairman of Pain Management at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California, said, "Millennium Laboratories is raising the bar in scientific excellence. There is a critical need for additional research and education in the treatment of pain patients and meeting the challenges of prescription drug abuse. The innovative concept of the Millennium Research Institute will fill an important gap in addressing a significant medical and societal issue."
MRI research findings will continue to be made accessible to the academic and medical communities via peer-reviewed publications, posters, roundtable meetings and accredited educational programming. Key findings will be directly communicated to the scientific community to aid researchers pursuing areas of related interest.