Newswise — The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) applauds the release of the draft National Pain Strategy (NPS) for public review. With over 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, the scope of the problem remains formidable. But this report calls for all Americans to be part of the cultural transformation in how we care for persons in chronic pain. Long overdue, the report addresses key target areas including: public awareness and clinical education, access to better care, research into new treatment options, and gathering data on the prevention and treatment of pain. Although focused on chronic pain, the NPS addresses the continuum of pain from acute to chronic, and across the life span from pediatric through geriatric populations.

The NPS recommends investing public resources to prevent pain, create access to evidence-based and high-quality pain assessment and treatment services, and improve self-management abilities among those with pain. Self-management is critical: for other chronic diseases including diabetes, COPD, congestive heart failure, etc. significant efforts to provide self-management options have been made for each. The same must be true for those with chronic pain. Equally important is the role that primary care clinicians as first contact providers play in treating pain. But in order for primary care clinicians and other providers to care for a problem of this magnitude, change is needed. Primary care providers would benefit from education and support from specialists. Reimbursement must be restructured to appropriately incentivize the comprehensive and complex care needed for those suffering in pain.

Another vital aspect addressed in the NPS report is the stigma people with pain endure from the health care system and society as a whole. Through better public and professional education, this misconception can be changed and the stigma associated with chronic pain will be reduced.

The AAPM is committed to working with all professional medical associations, patient advocacy groups, and other private and public stakeholders to help advance all the goals put forth by the NPS.

Individuals may comment on the National Pain Strategy draft by Wednesday, May 20 at 5 pm EST. We hope you will join us in voicing support for the Strategy by submitting comments. We believe that it is in the best interest of all to generate as many letters as possible to show HHS the importance of improving pain care for millions of Americans.



The Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC), which falls under the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), was charged by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health to create a comprehensive population health level-strategy for pain prevention, management, research, and treatment. Numerous AAPM representatives participated in the development of this draft plan, which has just been published as a draft soliciting public comments in the Federal Register.

About AAPM

The American Academy of Pain Medicine is the premier medical association for pain physicians and their treatment teams with over 2,500 members. Now in its 32nd year of service, the Academy’s mission is to optimize the health of patients in pain and eliminate pain as a major public health problem by advancing the practice and specialty of pain medicine through education, training, advocacy and research. Information is available on the Academy’s website at

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