Nov 29, 2022

Esteve and Medtronic are collaborating to address cancer pain patients’ needs

November 29th 2022 – ESTEVE and MEDTRONIC have started an initiative to improve the pathway of patients with refractory cancer pain across Europe. Although most cancer sufferers respond well to conventional analgesic pharmacotherapy, between 22% and 26% of cancer sufferers do not obtain adequate analgesia and/or experience intolerable adverse reactions with systemic drugs, especially opioids. (1)

Cancer patients suffering from refractory severe pain, as our focus

Refractory pain is highly devastating for all patients, but especially for those, who are going through a cancer condition.  As global health companies, it is our aim and responsibility to advance towards giving patients, families and caregivers a better life relieving suffering. For that, it is essential to improve interdisciplinary collaboration between oncology services and pain specialty units to improve pain management care.

The cancer sufferer pathway is complex. Real practice often shows that most of who suffers oncological pain are referred too late to the pain specialist units or palliative care (2). Time is specifically challenging to ensure they could benefit from recognized therapies that have demonstrated superior outcomes in cancer pain analgesia (3).

This new partnership of Medtronic and ESTEVE aims to drive visibility and awareness of cancer pain as well as optimizing the timely use of intrathecal drug delivery therapy for patient suffering from complex and refractory pain induced by cancer or cancer treatment. To change the paradigm on cancer pain, the two companies will involve European experts, with the goal to reach a consensus on cancer pain patients management.

This agreement shows that we are continuing to work towards our goal of improving patients’ life, and in this particular case, of improving the quality of life of cancer patients. We are proud of this alliance with Medtronic as working in collaboration with leading companies helps us leverage synergies to cover health unmet needs”, says Jordi Muntañola, ESTEVE’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Cancer diseases are complex and challenging conditions requiring a multi-disciplinary approach and collaboration. To change the paradigm and expand the cancer pain IDD therapy we have found in Esteve a trusted and committed partner. We will work closely and build a new workforce to change how cancer pain is treated and inspire hope”, says Bart Stulens, Senior Director, Neuromodulation Western Europe at Medtronic.


ESTEVE ( is a global pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Barcelona. Its mission is to advance in innovation to improve people’s lives and, since it was founded in 1929, its focus has been to provide solutions for as yet unmet medical needs. ESTEVE has an important presence in Europe thanks to its affiliates in Spain, Portugal, Germany, France and UK and its own production centers dedicated to the development and manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients in Spain, Mexico and China, as well as a pharmaceutical plant in Germany. 

About Medtronic
Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.



  1. Corli et al. Are strong opioids equally effective and safe in the treatment of chronic cancer pain? A multicentre randomized phase IV ‘real life’ trial on the variability of response to opioids. Annals of Oncology 27: 1107–1115, 2016
  2. Breivik H. et al. Cancer-related pain: a pan-European survey of prevalence, treatment, and patient attitudes. Annals of Oncology 2009;20(8): 1420-33
  3. Perruchoud C., Dupoiron D., Papi B., Calabrese A., Brogan S.E. 2021. Management of cancer-related pain with intrathecal drug delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical studies. Neuromodulation 2021; 1-11.