By Ed Coghlan
“It’s time for the chronic pain community to make its voice heard.”
That’s been a “chronic” theme of patient advocates, medical providers and pain patients for most of this year, particularly since the CDC Guideline on Opioid Prescribing was issued earlier this year.
One thing each of you can do is to sign a petition that calls on the federal government to fund the National Pain Strategy.
We’ve left emails with the National Institutes of Health in the last week asking when the implementation of the National Pain Strategy would begin. We haven’t heard back.
It was released in March, with very little fanfare. Here is how we covered it.
“This is our country’s first coordinated effort to develop a plan to address the care of those in pain. It is a seminal event because it calls for a complete transformation in pain prevention, care and education,” Sean Mackey M.D., who directs the Stanford University Pain Program, told the National Pain Report in March.
The NPS was developed by a diverse team of experts from around the nation and leaders believes it is a roadmap toward achieving a system of care in which all people receive appropriate, high quality and evidence-based care for pain.
The petition describes chronic pain this way.
Costing $635 billion annually, 100 million Americans and 80% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (and 50% of all veterans) suffer from chronic pain. Current research, education and treatment efforts are inadequate to address this epidemic, which often leads to suicide. In response, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) developed the National Pain Strategy (NPS), the country’s first strategic plan to achieve a system of safe, effective, and high-quality pain care informed by scientific evidence. The NPS will promote research, healthcare provider training, insurance coverage for individualized pain care, and public awareness of pain. Millions of families can no longer wait for solutions and urge the Administration to direct HHS to swiftly fund and implement the NPS.
Numerous pain advocacy groups are promoting the survey on Twitter and other social media. We encourage you to fill out the petition and to request that others in your groups do the same.
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