The release of the draft of the long awaited National Pain Strategy is drawing reaction among leaders in the pain community. And the general consensus seems to be “it’s about time”.
“This report is long overdue.” said Dan Bennett M.D., the chair of the National Pain Foundation. “The acknowledgement that pain is unique, real and can be a disease, itself, is not new. The report, however, is a public document acknowledging information that has been ignored, by public agencies, for too long.”
Bennett echoed the sentiments of many we’ve talked to. It’s important now for people to comment on the draft. Public comment is welcome until May 20.
“I would encourage people who live with pain, their significant others, families and friend to engage as the NIH welcomes public commentary,” he said. “It’s important to be heard.”
The National Pain Strategy was released by the National Institutes of Health. There are six key areas addressed:
- Determine just how big and how severe chronic pain is as public health issue.
- Better emphasis on prevention of acute and chronic pain.
- Improve the quality of pain care AND reduce barriers to underserved populations at risk for pain.
- How to make sure that access to optimal pain management is available to all.
- More education and training for the people who deliver care.
- Create a national pain awareness campaign and promote safe medication use by patients.
“The National Pain Strategy represents the United States first strategic plan for transforming and advancing pain care, education, research and prevention,” Dr. Sean Mackey, Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine told the National Pain Report.
Dr. Mackey was one of 80 experts from medical, scientific, public, private, insurance, and patient advocacy groups as well as federal health agencies. He said that the NPS was called for in the 2011 Institute of Medicine report, “Relieving Pain in America” and is a strategic, action-oriented document to transform how we assess and manage pain in our country.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bennett is restarting the National Pain Foundation with what he calls the Global Pain Initiative.
“The Global Pain Initiative will unite all people who live with pain, in any form, as a digital community; to define what pain is and from that perspective to truly begin to understand the far ranging effects pain has on us as individuals and the impact it has on our communities, countries and the whole of our global essence.”
Editor’s Note—At the National Pain Report we know that you have opinions—you express them often and passionately. And, since YOU are the public that truly understands PAIN, it’s important to have your voice heard. We agree with Dr. Bennett and Dr. Mackey that public comment is critical to advancing this initiative.
Comments must be received by May 20, 2015. Written comments can be emailed to NPSPublicComments@NIH.gov, or addressed to Linda Porter, Ph.D., NINDS/NIH, 31 Center Drive, Room 8A31, Bethesda, MD 20892. Here’s a link to the report.
Also, if you wish to comment on this story and would like your comments republished in future stories about the National Pain Strategy, please leave your name in the comment section. Thank you.