By Ed Coghlan.
I was on a Twitter conversation with some leaders in the chronic pain advocacy area and there was one general agreement:
Slowly—very slowly or should we say too slowly—the momentum about the treatment of chronic pain patients has begun to turn.
Some of it is because the chronic pain community—a disorganized but passionate group of millions of people—has been finding its voice.
Now, there’s another opportunity. We recommend you take advantage.
The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force is a new, high-level federal think-tank consisting of 28 appointees, including Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.
Ms. Steinberg is important because she is the only chronic pain patient advocate on the Task Force.
Overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the task force has been charged with the following:
- Propose updates to pain management best practices
- Issue recommendations that address gaps or inconsistencies for managing chronic and acute pain
- Provide the public with an opportunity to comment on any proposed updates and recommendations
- Develop a strategy for disseminating such proposed updates and recommendations to relevant Federal agencies and general public
- Provide expert advice and recommendations for pain management and prescribing pain medication
I posted the following comment tonight on behalf of the National Pain Report:
I am editor of the National Pain Report, which covers chronic pain issues and has a very large audience. The commentary section of the stories on our site gives a window into what many pain patients are feeling–which is a sense of abandonment in the wake of the impact of the Opioid Guidelines. A common question is: If you want to reduce opioids, what are the alternatives? I would argue they are still waiting for an answer. I hope that the discussion with your Task Force focuses on the importance of increasing access to quality health care for chronic pain patients by promoting an integrative care approach from which millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain may benefit. Chronic pain is like snowflakes…no two experiences are alike. Your recommendations hopefully will reflect that.
What will you tell them?
You can do here. (comment here)
We ask that you comment by May 25th.
Oh, and if you do comment—let us know what you say, if you want, in our comment section.