Q&A: Pain Care Labs' Baxter discusses drug-free pain relief

Dr. Amy Baxter, CEO and chief medical officer of Pain Care Labs, discusses the company’s devices, which are designed to offer pain relief without the use of medication.
David Salazar
Managing Editor
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Frost & Sullivan named Pain Care Labs the “Industry Leader in Noninvasive Pain Relief.” Dr. Amy Baxter, CEO and chief medical officer, researches the drug-free mechanical stimulation platform powering its product lines.

In a conversation with Drug Store News, Baxter shared how its multimodal approach can empower retail customers to gain power over their pain, and how the company’s products help. 

a woman smiling for the camera
Amy Baxter

Drug Store News: Tell us about Pain Care Labs and its products.
Amy Baxter:
With a frequency of vibration that overrides pain, our portable medical devices, Buzzy and VibraCool, comfortably give people hospital-grade power over pain at home. Our palm-sized mechanical stimulation platform combines ice and movement to intensely block pain on contact, like rubbing a bumped elbow or running a burn under water. It’s a pretty amazing breakthrough. Buzzy has blocked pain for 37 million needle procedures. With 1 in 4 adults and more than 63% of teens struggling with needle fear, Buzzy is the only solution proven to address needle pain, fear and even fainting.

DSN: How can mass retailers benefit from these products?
Our products can bring patients in for comfortable vaccinations, provide solutions for noncompliant pharmacy patients and offer new popular drug-free pain relief. Pharmacists let patients hold a Healthcare Buzzy to administer vaccinations, creating a comfort vaccination experience. Patients can purchase personal Buzzy units for home injections, glucose finger sticks or lab draws. Just place Buzzy close to the injection site, and ice and M-stim sensations control needle pain. One study found 44% who got a flu shot with Buzzy would choose that pharmacy the next year.

For patients looking for drug-free pain relief for joints or muscles, VibraCool is safe with pacemakers, easy to use, reusable and portable. A crossover trial found VibraCool was two times to 3.4 times more effective than TENS units — and all patients preferred VibraCool.

"With a frequency of vibration that overrides pain, our portable medical devices, Buzzy and VibraCool, comfortably give people hospital-grade power over pain at home."

DSN: What does the retailer need to do to maximize sales from the category in terms of merchandising and marketing?
Ideally, retailers keep Buzzy near the pharmacy counter to offer to patients who miss doses of injectables, or have a new needle-needing diagnosis but long-standing fear. For VibraCool, we advise that retailers place the product in the hot-cold therapy section. More consumers are seeking Buzzy out, so soon it could go in the cold therapy section as well.

DSN: What is Pain Care Labs doing to help sell product through?
We are offering Comfort Immunization Techniques training on Buzzy with free Window Clings and Distraction Posters. For VibraCool, our introductory sample case quantities let patients try models for plantar fasciitis, hip and neck pain, knee pain or tennis elbow so you can figure out your demographics and need.

DSN: How do you educate the retailer about your products and what do they need to do to educate their shoppers?
Buzzy uses a specific frequency that cancels the pain signal on contact. Patients can enhance the pain relief at home with unique ice packs. For vaccinations, pharmacists can place our sign instructing patients on Buzzy use near the vaccination station, and offer one or two units next to the location. Patients who want to use Buzzy hold it themselves and can even be instructed to disinfect the units after use. The training for comfort vaccination, distraction, fainting prevention and how Buzzy works is a 15-minute video or self-paced CME lecture.

DSN: Tell us about the future.
Pain Care Labs is currently NIH funded to test this mechanical stimulation platform for low back pain. A lot is going to be going on at our company in the future. In fact, in five years, we fully expect our technology to have special packaging and use for cramps, breastfeeding, sports and even kids to teach them to reach for bugs, not drugs for pain.