MedFaxx's Role in Tens and Infrex Consignment For Free Trial Video By Chronic Pain Patients
Free Tens (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) - Infrex Trial - How Did It Get Started?
One of the unheard of practices in most hospitals and physical therapy clinics across the U.S. is the practice of allowing a chronic pain patient the free trial of a tens unit to see if the unit helps alleviate the pain. It's a nice practice that originated in early 1976 and has continued until today.
The basic premise of allowing a patient, who had endured failure after failure of traditional treatments for their pain, to get a free trial was based upon the premise of the belief in the technology.
In 1976 most manufacturers of these "pain machines" were trying to sell their units to physical therapy depts., chiropractic clinics, pain clinics and neurosurgeons who dealt with chronic pain patients. Somehow the industry felt that a take home, use as needed product, should be purchased by the institution to "try on a patient in the clinic". This was contrary to the purpose of the TNS unit. A TNS unit was designed to be used in most any setting and worn all day if necessary. The patient would turn the unit on when the pain was starting or when undertaking a task that normally resulted in pain. The patient then had self control of their chronic pain by being able to treat as needed without being in a hospital or clinical setting.
Having entered the industry in 1977 it was difficult to understand why any manufacturer would not allow a "free trial of a tens unit" since the ultimate decision to the unit's effectiveness rested solely with a patient. Unlike pain medications the efficacy needed to be established before a purchase decision was made. The manufacturers of the units would not believe the market was much larger if they went directly to the person in pain, not the practictioner.
In late 1977 the consignment of tens was started in physical therapy depts. in North Carolina after copying the practice of a company out of La Jolla, Ca., N-Tron, who had begun to experiment with the concept. MedFaxx actually purchased the units and then consigned to physical therapy clinics so a patient could try the unit to determine if it would help or not. If it helped then the unit was purchased or rented depending on the diagnosis being a chronic or acute pain situation.
Many chronic pain patients had basically given up on trying new treatments since many had been willing to try drugs, surgeries, and other modalities yet they still continued to be in pain. To say it mildly they had lost tolerance with the traditional treatments for acute pain and ended up with a diagnosis of chronic pain.
Physical Therapists were the one health care profession that had the training and understanding on basic electricity and how our bodies work electrically and were chosen based upon their education and experience in working with electrical modalities.
The practice has continued and now is the standard for the use of interferential units which are outperforming the traditional tens units for pain relief.
For some manufacturers and distributors the message of believing in the product never caught on and they went to the wayside. For others it was a belief in a new technology that would help and the distributors took a chance, patient by patient, resulting in a new fair way of patient trials.
Today no patient should be expected to buy a tens or interferential unit unless the patient has been given a chance to try the unit for a week or more. We do require a security deposit, or permission to charge credit card if the tens, Infrex unit is not returned. Tens and Interferential units are consigned liberally across the U.S. by MedFaxx for free trials.
The practice of consigning tens units to clinics was novel at the time but it turned out to be the right and fair way, if you believed in your product. Now to apply that to the drug industry..(:)