Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint

The Institute of Medicine published a report today on chronic pain and, in particular, the ways in which we have to improve our treatment of it. Here's a press release from a number of important organizations describing and endorsing the report -- as we would have done, too, had we known about it. Important reading for anybody struggling with chronic pain.

I have heard enough stories of people treated like drug addicts whenever they present to an emergency room complaining of pain. We have to find better ways to understand and treat pain in America. Jennifer

Washington, D.C., May 16, 2011—The following statement was released today by a broad array (see list below in alphabetical order) of consumer, health professional and advocacy organizations upon release of a major new Congressionally-mandated study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences aimed at improving pain care, education and research.

“As organizations representing millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain, of health professionals who care for these Americans, and of researchers and educators working to improve the care and treatment options available to these Americans, we are united in our enthusiasm for the IOM’s attention to this issue and by the release of this landmark report that identifies pain as a major public health problem.

Millions of Americans will be reading the findings and recommendations of this report with great interest. One of every four American adults suffers from chronic pain, more than the number afflicted by cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined. Pain is the leading cause of visits to health care professionals. The economic costs of chronic pain in added health care costs, lost productivity and lost income is enormous. The toll in human suffering, much of it potentially unnecessary, is of even greater concern to people with pain and their families.

We thank the Congress for commissioning the highly respected IOM to study this problem and develop recommendations on how to improve pain research, care and education. And we thank the IOM, and in particular the distinguished panel of experts on this Committee, for their hard work and for sending a clear message to our government and our people that pain is a major public health problem that deserves much greater attention and focus.

While we are still carefully reviewing its findings and recommendations, we hope that this landmark report sounds the siren call for greater attention to pain issues by both public and private sector policymakers and by the nation as a whole. We hope the recommendations of the report lay a clear path toward much needed improvements in pain research, care, education and treatment."

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

American Academy of Pain Management

American Academy of Pain Medicine

American Chronic Pain Association

American Headache Society

American Pain Foundation

American Pain Society

American Society of Anesthesiologists

Boston Scientific Corporation

CFIDS Association of America

Cephalon, Inc.

Citizen Advocacy Center (CAC)


Endo Pharmaceuticals

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association

National Vulvodynia Association


Rocky Mountain CFS/ME & FM Association (RMCFA)

The Endometriosis Association

The Neuropathy Association

The TMJ Association

U.S. Pain Foundation

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