Government Task force to add in pain patient stories, apply to be one

Posted by jenapower @jenapower, Sep 1, 2017

I got this from another site I subscribed to. It’s called Pain Network News. They are putting together a group of pain patients, pain doctors and many other people to try to represent our side of the opiate fight in our country. Many of the decisions have been made about our medications without the input of pain doctors, nurses, ER doctors, or pain patients themselves. Now they’re asking for people to apply that would like to speak on our behalf. If you are interested this is the article that explains what to do. I’m not sure if the link will work but I added one to the Pain Network putting this together. Maybe one of the moderators can help me with that. I can email people in the email I got explaining it all if you’re interested and want to put out how to contact you. It might be something that we could help with. Jennifer
Like many chronic pain patients, Rob Hale has seen his opioid dose cut back severely in the last year — so much in fact that he’s been rushed to the ER twice and nearly died from the health consequences of untreated pain. “Why are they doing this to us?” Rob asks. “They are killing us off.”

Anti-opioid activists have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban high dose opioid painkillers — the very kind Rob Hale was taking. If approved, the ban would include some OxyContin tablets.

Would you like to give a piece of your mind to the federal government about how it treats pain patients? Here’s your chance. A new task force is being formed to advise the government about pain care — and they’re looking for pain patients and pain management experts to serve on the panel.

Guest columnist and pain sufferer Mary Cremer needs opioid medication to keep working and stay off disability. Mary wants people to know that she’s a drug user — but NOT a drug abuser.

Researchers have discovered a non-opioid pain reliever that appears to be very effective in treating neuropathy, without the side effects of drugs now used to treat the condition.

Is your spouse a pain in the neck? Don’t laugh — a new study shows that spouses who are quick to criticize make their partner’s back pain worse.

Many thanks to the subscribers who stepped up and made a donation to PNN last month. Our goal is to keep this newsletter free and never charge for a subscription. Please consider a donation to PNN today so that we can continue bringing this newsletter to you and others.


Pat Anson
President and Editor
Pain News Network

Here is the page on applying and more info. I hope this is OK on this website, I just wanted to let people know that they do have a way to fight back. Jennifer

By Pat Anson, Editor

The federal government is forming another advisory panel to study and develop “best practices” for treating acute and chronic pain. And for the first time, the feds are seeking nominations from the public for members to serve on the panel, who would represent pain patients and pain management experts.

The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force was authorized by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 – also known as the CARA Act – a landmark bill signed into law last year to address the nation’s addiction and overdose crisis.

While much of CARA is focused on preventing and treating opioid addiction, the law also calls for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to form a task force to recommend solutions to “gaps or inconsistencies” in pain management policies among federal agencies.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense all have different regulations and guidelines for opioid medication.

“This Task Force represents a critical piece of HHS’s five-point strategy to defeat the opioid epidemic, which includes advancing the practice of pain management,” HHS Secretary Tom Price said in a news release.

“Top experts in pain management, research, addiction and recovery can help us reassess how we handle the serious problem of pain in America.”
The task force could have as many as 30 members representing a broad spectrum of interests in pain management, according to a notice being published in the Federal Register:

The members of the Task Force shall include currently licensed and practicing physicians, dentists, and non-physician prescribers; currently licensed and practicing pharmacists and pharmacies; experts in the fields of pain research and addiction research, including adolescent and young adult addiction; experts on the health of, and prescription opioid use disorders in, members of the Armed Forces and veterans; and experts in the field of minority health.

The Members of the Task Force shall also include… representatives of pain management professional organizations; the mental health treatment community; the addiction treatment community, including individuals in recovery from substance use disorder; pain advocacy groups, including patients; veteran service organizations; groups with expertise on overdose reversal, including first responders; State medical boards; and hospitals.

Members will also be appointed to represent Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and “relevant HHS agencies.” The latter most likely includes the FDA and CDC. The Drug Enforcement Administration, an agency in the Department of Justice, will apparently not have a representative on the task force.

Pain patients and pain management experts have been poorly represented – and in some cases excluded – from previous federal advisory panels that addressed opioid prescribing and addiction. Some panel meetings were also closed to the public.

President Trump’s opioid commission, for example, includes three governors, a former congressman, and a Harvard professor who has been a longtime critic of opioid prescribing. No patients, pain management experts or practicing physicians were appointed, and the commission only heard testimony from addiction treatment advocates during its one public meeting.

That was better than the CDC, which held no public hearings while preparing the initial draft of its opioid prescribing guideline in 2015. As PNN has reported, the “Core Expert Group” and various stakeholders that advised the CDC were dominated by special interest groups and addiction treatment specialists, including five board members of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), an anti-opioid activist group. Only after a public outcry and threats of a lawsuit did the agency delay the release of the guideline, seek public comment and form a new advisory panel.

Are you interested in becoming a member of the new task force on pain management or know someone who might?

Information on how to nominate individuals – including self-nominations — can be found by clicking here. Applications are due by Wednesday, September 27. All nominations must be submitted via email to the attention of Vanila Singh, MD, Chief Medical Officer at

Members of the task force who are not government employees will receive per diem pay and reimbursement for travel expenses. All task force meetings will be open to the public.

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