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Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on IOM Pain Report; IPRCC meeting announced

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On February 14, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held a hearing, entitled, Pain in America: Exploring Challenges to Relief.  A recording of the hearing is available here.

Witnesses included:

  • Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D. , Principal Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC

  • Philip A. Pizzo, M.D. , Dean of the School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

  • John E. Sarno, M. D. , Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY

  • William Maixner D.D.S., Ph.D , Director, Center for Neurosensory Disorders, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Christin Veasley , Executive Director, National Vulvodynia Association, North Kingstown, RI

The hearing largely focused on the June 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, entitled, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research.  The IOM report assessed the current state of the science of pain research, care, and education, and made numerous recommendations that the authors believe would advance the field of pain medicine.  These recommendations focused on data collection, patient care, education and research.  Go here to learn more about the IOM report. 

A major theme of the hearing was the need for additional pain research.  Witnesses emphasized a lack of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for pain research, and Dr. Tabak announced the first meeting of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) on March 27, 2012.  The IPRCC will identify gaps in pain research and recommend federal research programs in those areas.  The NIH press release on the IPRCC is available here

ASA is pleased that Sean Mackey, M.D., chief of the Stanford University School of Medicine's Division of Pain Management and a member of the ASA Pain Medicine Committee, will serve on the IPRCC, though Dr. Mackey will not represent ASA on the IPRCC.  Other IPRCC members with a background in anesthesia include Bob Andrew Rappaport, M.D., director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Carmen R. Green, M.D., professor of anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and health management and policy at the University of Michigan's schools of Medicine and Public Health, Ann Arbor. 

Go here to learn more about ASA's advocacy in Pain Medicine.

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