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Endometriosis Research Center
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630 Ibis Drive
Delray Beach, FL 33444 USA

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The Endometriosis Research Center is proud to be among the 100 organizations who have endorsed the consensus statement in support of H.R. 1020: The National Pain Care Policy Act of 2005.  This important initiative to improve pain management in America, organized by the American Pain Foundation, is critical for 75 million Americans suffering from pain.  Strong support has been received from the patient and professional pain management community, as well as related organizations that work with painful conditions.  This united voice for change reflects that it is no longer tolerable that 75 million American suffer pain and the majority do not receive appropriate care.

H.R. 1020, which was reintroduced by Congressman Michael Rogers (MI-8) in 2005, is designed to raise public awareness, improve pain education for healthcare providers, improve access to pain management services, and to increase research on pain conditions.  While pain is the leading complaint of people visiting a healthcare professional,  medical schools require limited hours of curriculum to pain, if at all.  Additionally, the National Institutes of Health designate less than one percent of their annual budget to research on pain. 

An estimated 75 million Americans suffer serious pain annually.  50 million of those endure serious chronic pain (pain lasting 6 months or more), and another 25 million experience acute pain (i.e. injuries, accidents, surgeries).  Headache, lower back pain, arthritis and other joint pain, and peripheral neuropathy are the most common forms of chronic pain.   Despite the incidence of pain, research has shown that only 1 in 4 of those with pain received adequate treatment.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that pain costs more than $100 billion per year in medical expenses, lost wages and lost productivity.   Research has also shown that those with chronic pain experience difficulties on the job and their personal relationships suffer due to their condition, a toll that is more difficult to quantify in terms of dollars.

As members and representatives of the pain care community, we support H.R. 1020, the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2005.  Specifically, we support:

The development and execution of a White House Conference on Pain Care, designed to

- increase the awareness of pain as a significant public health problem;

- assess the adequacy of diagnosis and treatment of pain;

- identify barriers to appropriate pain care; and

- establish an agenda for the Decade of Pain Control and Research, stimulating public and private sector efforts to improve the state of pain care research, education, and clinical care by the year 2010.

Furthermore, we support:

- the promotion of clinical and basic scientific research into the causes and effective treatments for pain through the National Institutes of Health;

- enacting of Requirements for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (“AHRQ”) to collect and disseminate protocols and evidence-based practices regarding pain and palliative care to clinicians and the general public, as well as fund education and training programs for health care professionals in pain and palliative care;

- developing and implementing a national public awareness campaign on pain management designed to educate employers, insurers, consumers, patients, families and other caregivers about the significance of pain as a national public health problem; the risks to patients if pain is not properly treated; the availability of treatment options for different types of pain; the patient’s right to have pain assessed and treated across health care settings; and where patients and other consumers can go for help in dealing with pain;

- requirements of the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement a pain care initiative in all military health care facilities to ensure that all personnel receiving treatment in military health care facilities are assessed for pain at the time of admission or initial treatment, and that they receive appropriate pain care;

- requirements of managed health care plans that offer Medicare+Choice plans to seniors to offer appropriate care for the treatment of patients in pain, including specialty and tertiary care for patients with intractable pain; additionally, we support requirements for similar protections for military personnel and dependents enrolled in Tricare plans;

- requirements of CMS to submit to Congress an annual report on Medicare expenditures for pain and palliative care; and

- requirements of the Secretary of the DVA to develop and implement a pain care initiative in all VA health care facilities to ensure that all veterans receiving treatment in those facilities are assessed for pain at the time of admission or initial treatment, and that they receive appropriate pain care.

Founded in 1997, the American Pain Foundation is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization serving people with pain through information, advocacy, and support. The APF's mission is to improve the quality of life of people with pain by raising public awareness, providing practical information, promoting research, and advocating to remove barriers and increase access to effective pain management.  The ERC is pleased to collaborate with, and support the efforts of, this worthy organization.  For more information, visit www.painfoundation.org.