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Women's advocates send letter to Congressional leaders requesting a hearing on chronic pain

Tuesday 14 June 2011

From Medical News Today:


Campaign To End Chronic Pain In WomenWomen's Advocates Send Letter To Congressional Leaders Requesting A Hearing On Chronic Pain

Main Category: Pain / Anesthetics
Also Included In: Women's Health / Gynecology
Article Date: 06 Jun 2011 - 9:00 PDT

The Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women, led by organizational leaders from the CFIDS Association of America, Endometriosis Association, National Vulvodynia Association, and The TMJ Association, called on congressional leaders to convene a hearing on our nation's [United States] chronic pain epidemic and examine solutions that could relieve suffering and substantially reduce health care costs. The report and recommendations of a landmark Congressionally-mandated study on advancing pain research, care and education is expected to be released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences on June 29th.

In a letter sent to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming), the organizational leaders of the Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women thanked the Committee for their continuing commitment to women's health issues and requested a HELP Committee hearing to examine the findings and recommendations of the IOM report, including a special focus on chronic pain disorders that disproportionately affect women. 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 and vulvodynia, at an annual cost of up to $80 billion a year.

The Campaign leaders called on the Committee to hear from IOM Committee leadership, as well as Americans directly impacted by chronic pain: "A hearing by your Committee to receive data, recommendations and testimony from the leaders of the Institute of Medicine committee as well as Americans directly impacted by chronic pain would give this important national issue some much deserved attention and provide the Committee with important information on how to both reduce health costs and human suffering through improve pain research, care and education."

In May 2010, the Campaign released a groundbreaking report, Chronic Pain in Women: Neglect, Dismissal and Discrimination, that for the first time, documented the human and financial toll that chronic pain conditions have on women and their families. Last year the HELP Committee directed the IOM to develop recommendations on how to significantly improve the state of our nation's pain research, medical management and educational efforts. The IOM has included a special focus on this important aspect of America's larger pain issue, which should be given emphasis in your Committee hearing as well.

"Through a Congressional hearing, Congress has an opportunity to better confront a nation-wide epidemic that imposes enormous and potentially avoidable economic and health care costs on our nation," stated the Campaign leaders. "This hearing presents an opportunity to enact long-overdue improvements."

The Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women


The above originally appeared here.


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