Better Pain Management
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HHS promotes healthy, evidence-based methods of pain management.
Through the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, NIH supports the development new, effective, and non-addictive approaches to prevent opioid misuse through enhanced pain management.
The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, which was called for by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 - PDF, is assigned the following responsibilities:
- Determining whether there are gaps or inconsistencies in pain management best practices among federal agencies,
- Proposing recommendations on addressing gaps or inconsistencies,
A diverse team of experts from around the nation drafted the National Pain Strategy: A Comprehensive Population Health-Level Strategy for Pain as a roadmap toward achieving a system of care in which all people receive appropriate, high quality, and evidence-based care for pain.
NIH funds Centers of Excellence in Pain Education at 11 academic institutions in the U.S. The Centers act as hubs for the development, evaluation and distribution of pain curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professional schools to improve how healthcare professionals are taught about pain and its treatment.
Healthy People 2020: Medical Product Safety Objectives is a federal initiative focusing on overall improvement of patient treatment and appropriate use of medical products for pain management, including prescription drugs such as opioids.
In June 2017, FDA recommended that the opioid Opana ER be withdrawn from the market because of the drug’s risks outweighing its benefit and in July, the drug’s sponsor announced it was withdrawing the drug. FDA also issued final guidance on developing generic abuse-deterrent opioids.
In September 2017, NIH, DOD, and VA announced a veteran pain management research collaborative. Collectively, the agencies announced a joint research partnership of $81 million over six years to support research related to pain management in the military and veteran community.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) has established a national committee on Heroin, Opioid, and Pain Efforts (HOPE) that will work to provide safe and effective pain management and prevent opioid misuse.