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Medical device companies supporting pain treatment legislation

Minnesota medical device companies are voicing support for federal legislation that would expand research for pain treatment.
Medtronic, St.

Minnesota medical device companies are voicing support for federal legislation that would expand research for pain treatment.

Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific, among others, have signed on as supporters of the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009. The bill, which failed in previous sessions, was reintroduced this month by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.

The act calls for “an aggressive program for basic and clinical research on causes and potential treatment of pain.” It would also create a national conference on pain care, a training grant to help health professionals understand and treat pain, and a national pain-management awareness campaign to educate the public.

But educate them on what?

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Capps appears to be a supporter of California’s medical marijuana policy. She recently wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that he call off federal agents from intimidating medical-marijuana providers in her state.

But something tells me medical marijuana isn’t what’s motivating device companies from getting involved.

All three companies have their own pain treatments: implantable pacemaker-like devices called neurostimulators that use mild electrical pulses to prevent nerves from delivering pain signals to the brain.