The Pain Advocacy Coalition (PAC) is a resource to inform and empower patients experiencing acute, chronic, intractable pain facing opioid prohibition and restrictive, over -reaching, draconian healthcare policy.
PAC facilitates pain patients to follow current issues facing the pain community, crowdsource a common problem, and eAdvocate to amplify their message.
We are informed and empowered eAdvocates.
Why is there a need for pain patients to advocate?
A lot of patients are suffering in pain, and they are not receiving effective medical care, or they have lost access to medical care to manage their pain, as a result of recent healthcare policy changes.
The current state of healthcare necessitates a “call to action” for the pain community.
Prevalence of Pain
In a study published by Journal Of Pain published August, 2018 (Pitcher, Von Korff, Bushnell and Porter) using the 2011 National Health Interview Survey to assess the likelihood of disability in the overall chronic pain population and to estimate the over all prevalence of High Impact Chronic Pain (HCIP), it is estimated in excess of 40 million patients suffer from debilitating pain. That does not include patients experiencing acute or moderate pain not impacting activities of daily living.
“Our prevalence estimate of the overall chronic pain population is approximately 18.4% of the adult population, or >40 million people. Although this estimate is similar to some estimates,12, 15,19 it is much lower than others,10, 26 likely owing to methodological aspects of data collection in those studies as well as how chronic pain was operationalized.
More important, whereas pain enduring ≥3 months certainly constitutes a significant burden to the sufferer, not everyone is impacted equally.5,30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 To address this variability in outcomes, some studies have further stratified the chronic pain population according to pain severity, where greater severity is generally associated with poorer outcomes.3, 6,18, 19, 20
However, it has been long agreed that several other factors interact with pain characteristics to produce negative outcomes, including affective distress, life control, and, crucially, functional disability.14, 27,28,”
If you are not a pain patient, it is highly likely you know someone who is in chronic or intractable pain.
A co-worker, neighbor, friend, or family member suffering with acute/chronic or intractable pain, who now find themselves caught in the upheaval of anti-opioid sentiment and hysteria, has negatively impacted patients across the United States.
If someone you love suffers from pain, thank you for supporting your loved one, please consider advocating on their behalf.
Informed & Empowered
PAC is not a support group, a volunteer group, or a non-profit.
PAC is partnership with the pain community to crowdsource a solution to a common problem that is impacting millions of lives utilizing collaborative tools, social media platforms to bring transparency to a complex problem, add value to the conversation, encourage dialogue, empower patients, promote eAdvocacy and amplify the message of the pain community to the public, politicians, media, third-party administrators, medical providers, academia, research community and oversight agencies.
PAC supports informed and empowered eAdvocates.
We are inviting the pain community to participate and eAdvocate.
The medical administration of long term use of opioids for analgesia are utilized in tandem with other medical treatments, individualized to the patient’s needs, and are implemented only when other treatments are not successful for relieving chronic or intractable pain. The use of prescribed opioid analgesia permits patients to successfully participate in activities of daily living in an effort to meet their obligations and maintain quality of life.
Opioids, when used as an analgesic, allow patients to redeem some quality of life from chronic or intractable pain. Often, patient’s who suffer with chronic or intractable pain experience only partial relief from opioid analgesics.
In the case of pain management, a patient’s expectations generally do not revolve around complete pain relief but instead, to improve quality of life and functionality.
To accomplish that goal, patient choice, individualized patient care, and access to medical care must be preserved.
Pain patients frequently are not able to participate in their lives at the same capacity, as they once did, prior to becoming pain patients.
However, without opioid analgesics, many patients decline, experience decreased mobility, increased pain, decreased productivity or other negative outcomes, including decreased mobility, cardiovascular complications, cognitive changes and in some cases, accelerated mortality.
The repercussions of the financial burden of physical decline includes medical bankruptcy, foreclosures, loss of careers or employment, and the associated loss of productivity to society, who often treat pain patients with stigma or bias, creating additional hardship for patients, their family, friends, employers and the community.
The “opioid crisis” and the implementation of draconian policies by Center for Disease Control (CDC) that significantly restrict prescribing opioids for legitimate pain patients, have mobilized the pain community to coalesce, and address the “unintended consequences” or negative impact these policies have had on patients.
In some cases, there is a rush to implement “opioid prohibition” in response to the flood of illicit, illegal fentanyl analogues flooding the country, without sufficient evidence that reducing legally prescribed opioids will decrease the number of overdose deaths.
Seeking Balanced Healthcare Policy
PAC is seeking a more rational, balanced and compassionate approach to pain management that preserves patient choice in tandem with a licensed pain management physician free of stigma, discrimination, and government agency intrusion.
We hope that this platform will achieve the following goals.
The Pain Advocacy Coalition is a grassroots movement dedicated to addressing the “opioid crisis” by:
- raising public awareness about the impact of pain on patients, both acute and chronic
- bringing transparency to the negative impact the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines have had on the pain community and their healthcare providers
- challenging the status quo and empowering pain patients to utilize collaborative tools and platforms
- participating in a national conversation about our healthcare decisions that previously the pain community has largely been excluded from
- restoring the patient- physician- pharmacist relationship
- preventing detrimental special interest and government interference in the provision of medical care
- challenging stigma, discrimination, profiling, narrow narrative and marginalization that contribute to the obstacles and barriers that pain patients experience
- challenging the media to offer the public balanced reporting about the “opioid crisis” including equal time outlining the impact to pain patients (acute/ chronic) and the medical community at large
- challenging the methods by which data is obtained, research is conducted, how research is funded and how statistics are being utilized to make individual medical decisions from a board room, a legislative office, third-party administrator’s office, pharmacy or an agency oversight office
For an expanded look at the issues pain patients across the country are facing check out this video by I-team reporter George Knapp and his fellow reporters courtesy of LasVegasNow- KLAS-TV-8 report published on December 1, 2017 chronicling the struggle facing the pain community.
Video credit: LasVegasNOW/ George Knapp
“Millions of Americans who rely on opioid medications for pain relief are in anguish because of government pressure to reduce prescriptions across the board. Doctors, pharmacists, and other providers have already made drastic cuts in the amount of pain medicine they dispense, with more cuts on the way.” George Knapp
Thanks to George Knapp for an informative report on the obstacles facing pain patients and their healthcare providers.
Thanks to Journal of Pain for featuring an informative study about the prevalence of high impact chronic pain.
As a result of restrictive public health changes, via the introduction of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2016 Opioid Prescribing Guidelines and the National Pain Strategy, as recommended in the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report, the Pain Advocacy Coalition is extending an invitation to everyone to join our initiative, to advocate for patients and their caregivers to preserve treatment options, including opioids, for patients who are experiencing acute, chronic or intractable pain.
Tell us about your eAdvocacy journey, and be sure to check us out and follow on Twitter @PACRiseUp