Newswise — CHICAGO, Ill., March 18, 2016 -- The American Pain Society (APS) today endorsed the federal government’s National Pain Strategy for its recommendations to better educate primary care physicians about pain and pain treatments, reduce stigma by increasing public awareness about pain and its overall impact on society, and expanding access to personalized multimodal and multidisciplinary pain care.

Released today and developed by an expert panel of pain clinicians and researchers commissioned by the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee of the National Institutes of Health, the National Pain Strategy is guided by recommendations drafted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its 2011 report. The IOM report was a major step forward in addressing the nation’s leading public health problem – untreated and undertreated chronic pain - and called for a cultural transformation in pain prevention, care, education, and research and advocated a comprehensive population health level strategy.

“The IOM report succeeded in focusing attention on the plight of millions of Americans who endure persistent, often severe, pain every day, and the National Pain Strategy gives the nation a blueprint for aggressive action to expand access to effective pain care help decrease the prevalence of chronic pain in children to the elderly and at the end of life,” said APS President Gregory Terman, M.D., Ph.D. “Pain is a serious and often neglected public health problem that is draining our health care resources. It is responsible for inestimable lost wages, impaired worker productivity, and extracts a tragic personal toll on patients and their families,” he added.

Terman said several APS leaders and members were involved in writing the National Pain Strategy by serving on the oversight committee and in work groups.

“We believe several high impact policy initiatives will emerge from implemetation of the National Pain Strategy,” said Terman, “especially in helping primary-care physicians, who see that vast majority of pain patients, become more knowledgeable about pain mechanisms, pain assessment, and safe use of analgesic medications.” Commenting further, Terman said APS hopes the National Pain Strategy will spur action on the part of the medical, dental, nursing and other health professional training communities to more fully integrate pain in their curricula. medical schools and health profession training institutions

In addition, APS strongly supports recommendations in the National Pain Strategy that chronic pain is a biopsychosocial condition that often requires integrated, multimodal and interdisciplinary treatment. Since its founding more than three decades ago, APS has been the leading advocate for wider professional acceptance and use of multidisciplinary pain care.

About the American Pain SocietyBased in Chicago, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS is the professional home for investigators involved in all aspects of pain research including basic, translational, clinical and health services research to obtain the support and inspiration they need to flourish professionally. APS strongly advocates expansion of high quality pain research to help advance science to achieve effective and responsible pain relief. For more information on APS, visit www.americanpainsociety.org.

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