Call on HHS to Release the National Pain Strategy Report

CHRONIC PAIN: National Groups Call on HHS to Release the National Pain Strategy Report and Endorse Four Core Messages

In anticipation of the forthcoming Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Pain Strategy (NPS) Report, last month more than 100 national organizations, including professional medical and nursing societies, federal agencies, patient advocacy groups and policy organizations, met in Washington, DC to review the draft NPS Report and potential public/private partnerships to move the report from a plan to a reality. The group was convened by PAINS (Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy) www.painsproject.org, a national alliance supported by the Center

 Those who participated in development of the NPS report presented each section of it:
- Population Health
- Service Delivery and Reimbursement
- Prevention and Care
- Professional Education and Training
- Disparities
- Public Education and Communication

Participants strongly agreed on the importance of releasing the report and educating the American public about the impact of chronic pain. A consensus emerged around four core messages developed by the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force (CPATF) in response to the report. CPATF is a coalition of 17 patient advocacy organizations organized by the American Academy of Pain Management in 2014.

The 4 core messages are:
1) Chronic pain is a real and complex disease that may exist by itself or be linked with other medical conditions.
2) Chronic pain is both an under-recognized and under-resourced public health crisis with devastating personal and economic impact.
3) Effective chronic pain care requires access to a wide range of treatment options, including biomedical, behavioral health and complementary treatment.
4) Denying appropriate care to people with chronic pain is unethical and can lead to unnecessary suffering, depression, disability and even suicide.

To date, these messages have been endorsed by more than three dozen national leaders and organizations.

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PAINS calls on HHS to incorporate these core messages into the final NPS Report, to release the report no later than September 31, 2015, and to establish an oversight committee responsible for its implementation. We also call on Congress to provide adequate funding for its implementation.