You have only a few days—until April 1st to be exact–to submit your comments on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force draft report. We can’t urge you enough to add your voice to this.
You can read the report and learn how to submit your comments here.
In stories we have done on this draft report, we have received many comments from people who are frustrated and wonder why we continue to suggest that you comment.
The reason is simple:
If you don’t, you won’t be heard (and thus, really shouldn’t complain about no one listening).
In case, you didn’t hear about the Journal of American Medicine report last week, and this won’t surprise many chronic pain patients, a study of patients with cancer referred to a palliative care team for pain management before and after the announcement of parenteral opioid shortages, found that significantly fewer patients had achieved clinically improved pain by follow-up day 1 after the shortages.
As Stanford pain psychologist Beth Darnall tweeted this weekend:
We need acute & chronic pain policies that support *improved* pain care vs. policies that myopically target opioid doses.
Let me highlight another woman who is often right when it comes to chronic pain patients.
One of the clearest voices in the chronic pain community is Kate Nicholson, a civil rights attorney.
If you missed her op-ed in the Los Angeles Times in January, I suggest you read it here.
You can (and should) follow on her Twitter @speakingabtpain.
She has recently picked up her volume on Twitter and I must say, it’s helping educate folks about chronic pain.
Her Tweet over the weekend caught my attention:
#Paintoo I am consciously using this hashtag. The time has come to consider the needs of people in pain in the conversation around opioids and access to treatment generally. I’m tired of the stigma and the notion that pain is an invention of the pharmaceutical industry.
Another extraordinary pain advocate is Dr. Terri Lewis—who told us this month that she is going to turn off the largest chronic pain patient survey ever taken at the end of the month or if she reaches 5,000 respondents, whatever comes first.
Let’s help her reach 5,000 responses. If you haven’t filled it out, please do here.
She has received responses from all 50 states and is using the data to create a patient-centered argument on how to best understand and treat chronic pain.