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
Citizen Advocacy Center (CAC)
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