In light of the opioid crisis, the Federal Government has developed new strategies for pain management. The rationale for the National Pain Strategy and related research was explained, and how these new strategies are being implemented was clarified, in a November 7 presentation at the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Diego.
Implementing the 2016 National Pain Strategy
Dr Vanila M. Singh, Chief Medical Officer of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, launched the discussion of the National Pain Strategy, the government’s first broad-ranging effort to improve how pain is perceived, assessed, and treated. The Federal Government considers this strategy a significant step toward the ideal state of pain care.
The National Pain Strategy’s goal is to address 6 areas: (1) disparities, (2) prevention and care, (3) service delivery and payment, (4) professional education and training, (5) public education and communication, and (6) population research.
Dr Singh discussed some of the National Pain Strategy’s deliverables. For example, to advance service delivery and payment, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is conducting a systematic review on nonpharmacological treatments for pain. To advance professional education, the NIH has developed the Centers of Excellence in Pain Education and created an online pain education portal.
Dr Singh concluded by reviewing the directive of the Pain Management Task Force, which was congressionally mandated by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016. The task force includes federal and non-federal partners, including prescribers, pharmacists, pertinent medical organizations, veterans’ organizations, first responders, and patient advocacy groups. The task force’s goal will be to provide best practice guidelines for patients who have acute and chronic pain.
The Federal Pain Research Strategy
Linda Porter, PhD, Director of the Office of Pain Policy at NIH, shared federal research initiatives related to improving what is known about pain and how to manage it. Under the auspices of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee and the NIH, scientific experts, patient advocates, and federal representatives have collaborated to identify and prioritize research recommendations.
The top research priorities include understanding plasticity mechanisms that promote persistent pain and resolution mechanisms, determining mechanisms that sustain or resolve chronic pain, and determining optimal safe and effective chronic pain management. Overall, the Federal Pain Research Strategy provides guidance for federal agencies and departments that support pain research.
5T120 ARHP: National Strategies for Addressing Pain. Presented at: 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting. November 3-8, 2017. San Diego, California.