Historic Opportunity" To Help Millions Of Women Suffering From
Neglected Chronic Pain Disorders
Article Date: 11 May 2011 - 9:00 PDT
Today, leading women's health advocates called on the Institute of
Medicine (IOM), through the release of the first
Congressionally-mandated report on the state of our nation's effort to
eradicate chronic pain, to "seize this historic opportunity" to help
the millions of afflicted American women suffering from prevalent,
longtime neglected pain disorders.
In a letter sent today to Dr. Phillip Pizzo, Chair of the IOM
Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education,
organizational leaders of the Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women
thanked the IOM for their important work and called on the special
Committee to be bold in its recommendations, which are expected by the
end of June. The letter notes that up to 50 million women in America
suffer from one or more of the following prevalent, neglected and
poorly understood chronic pain conditions that frequently co-occur and
disproportionately affect women: chronic fatigue syndrome,
endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, TMJ disorders
andvulvodynia, at an annual cost of up to $80 billion a year.
They called on the IOM to recommend a concerted and coordinated effort
to confront this costly problem: "The report should call on our
nation's leaders to enact a long overdue, concerted, coordinated, and
serious effort to tackle this costly problem through an expanded
collaborative research effort and improved clinical care. Doing so has
the potential to not only lead to an improved quality of life for
millions of Americans, but will start the process of reducing wasteful
and inefficient health care spending."
Last year Congress directed the IOM to develop recommendations on how
to significantly improve the state of our nation's pain research,
medical management and educational efforts. This report is expected to
be delivered to Congress by June 30, 2011. Since the IOM study began
in November 2010, the Campaign has, on every available opportunity,
submitted oral and written testimony; today's letter outlined
essential elements of the solution to this complex problem.
"Through the release of this report, the IOM has a historic
opportunity to redefine how our nation confronts our chronic pain
epidemic," said the Campaign leaders. "These recommendations hold the
promise of stimulating long-overdue improvements in the quality of
medical care provided to millions of chronic pain sufferers."
Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women