By Nicole Hemmenway – US Pain Foundation
The 90-day public comment period for the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force’s (PMTF) draft report came to a close April 1, with more than 6,000 individuals and organizations submitting feedback.
Among those to comment was the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force (CPATF), a coalition of pain patient-related nonprofits, including U.S. Pain Foundation, which submitted a 25-page joint letter. In addition to U.S. Pain Foundation, the CPATF letter was signed by the Center for Practical Bioethics; CHAMP (Coalition For Headache And Migraine Patients); Chronic Pain Research Alliance; For Grace: Women In Pain; Global Healthy Living Foundation; Headache and Migraine Policy Forum; International Pain Foundation; Interstitial Cystitis Association; RSDSA (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association); and The Pain Community.
“We are very grateful that so many patient organizations joined together to respond to this report with one, unified voice,” says Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain Foundation’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy and the only patient advocacy representative on the PMTF. “While the draft report holds a lot of promise, from the patient perspective, we had a number of important suggestions for ways to improve or expand on its recommendations.”
Of note, the CPATF letter commends the draft report’s emphasis on individualized care and encouraged further emphasis of that point. CPATF also urges PMTF to go further and recommend that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) formally revise and reissue their 2016 guidelines on opioid prescribing based on the PMTF recommendations.
Beyond general feedback, the CPATF letter includes specific suggestions on nearly every section of the report.
The PMTF is now working to review the comments received, finalize the report, and submit it to Congress at the end of May. The PMTF will hold its final meeting in Washington, D.C, on May 9 and 10, which will again include a public comment portion and will be live streamed. The pain community is encouraged to participate. More information about the meeting can be found here.
To read the letter, click here.