Your urgent attention is needed on an amendment up for vote today by our U.S. Senators. The Amendment 3435 to the S. 524 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act will direct the National Institutes of Health to intensify its research efforts on chronic pain and develop safe and effective treatments for chronic pain. This is critically important and your action can help to ensure that this important directive gets included in this bill!
Please take 2 minutes to Contact Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid Today, March 10 by 12pm ET.
There are 3 ways that you can contact Senator Harry Reid to make your voice heard:
a. Call 202-224-3542
b. Say: I’m calling in regards to the S. 524 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. I urge Senator Reid to drop his objection to the Schatz Amendment 3435. It is a bipartisan, non-controversial amendment that is critical to achieving a long-term solution to our nation’s chronic pain and opioid addiction crises.
a. Visit: http://www.reid.senate.gov/contact
b. Enter your contact information.
c. In the ‘subject’ dropdown menu, choose ‘health.’
d. Cut/paste the following text into the ‘Message’ box: Dear Senator Reid, Please drop your objection to the Schatz Amendment 3435 to the S. 524 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. It is a bipartisan, non-controversial amendment that is critically important in achieving a long-term solution to our nation’s chronic pain and opioid addiction crises. Doing so will save lives!
a. Cut/paste the following: @SenatorReid Please drop your objection to the bipartisan, non-controversial Schatz Amendment 3435 to CARA today – doing so will save lives!
Thank you for joining with us to help improve the lives of people with pain!
Background: This CARA bill, among a number of other federal bills to address our nation’s problems with prescription medication abuse, are actively gaining momentum, and we believe some will pass. None of them include any language to address the inadequate treatment of pain and lack of research and education/training for pain. The language in the Schatz Amendment 3435 DOES ADDRESS CHRONIC PAIN and below you can see the language about NIH Research on Chronic Pain. Please click here to send a quick email or make a fast call to Senator Reid’s office to urge him to drop his objection to the Schatz Amendment, which is SO VERY IMPORTANT to bring the needs of people with pain into this bill.
S. Amdt. 3435—NIH Research on Chronic Pain Amendment
to S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act
Introduced by Senators Schatz, Hatch, Tester, Cochran, and Collins
Public health burden of chronic pain
- According to the National Academy of Medicine, chronic pain affects 100 million adult Americans at a cost of up to $635 billion annually.
- This significant cost to society does not include the $55 billion lost annually to opioid misuse and addiction.
- Current options for treating chronic pain are limited to a few specific classes of medications, in addition to behavioral and non-pharmacologic therapies.
Need for further NIH focus on chronic pain research
- Despite the public health challenge of chronic pain in the United States, the National Institutes of Health funded only $463 million in research directed towards understanding pain in fiscal year 2015.
- Increased federal focus of fundamental, translational, and clinical research directed towards understanding pain should significantly increase the likelihood of the discovery and development of novel, safe, non-addictive, effective, and affordable pharmaceuticals and other therapies for chronic pain. Widespread introduction and adoption of such improved pain therapies into clinical practice would:
- Reduce opioid over-prescribing, misuse, diversion, addiction, and overdose;
- Reduce suffering and disability due to pain;
- Increase workplace productivity;
- Promote the development of innovative therapies for unmet medical needs with enormous global markets; and
- Markedly reduce overall societal costs from chronic pain and opioid misuse.
Directing NIH to intensify and coordinate NIH research on chronic pain
- S. Amdt. 3435 directs that the NIH may intensify and coordinate fundamental, translational, and clinical research of the NIH out of funds appropriated but not otherwise obligated, with respect to:
- The understanding of pain;
- The discovery and development of therapies for chronic pain; and
- The development of alternatives to opioids for effective pain treatments.
- The amendment states that prioritization and direction of this NIH research shall consider recommendations made by the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee in concert with the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, and in accordance with the National Pain Strategy, the Federal Pain Research Strategy, and the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2020 (the latter which focuses on relative burden of disease in the prioritization of federal research).