NIH Releases Draft National Pain Strategy and Solicits Comments - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

FDA & Washington Alerts

NIH Releases Draft National Pain Strategy and Solicits Comments

On April 2, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) issued a notice in the Federal Register, soliciting comments on the draft National Pain Strategy.  ASA encourages members to read the report and submit relevant comments by May 20, 2015.

ASA Pain Committee members Dr. James Rathmell and Dr. Daniel Carr both contributed to the strategy as members of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC), which was crucial in overseeing the creation of the National Pain Strategy.  Other ASA members involved include Sean C.Mackey, M.D., PhD; Colonel Chester Buckenmaier III, M.D.; Steven P. Cohen, M.D. ; Scott M. Fishman, M.D.; Lynn Webster, M.D.; FACPM, FASAM;  and Carmen R. Green, M.D.  The IPRCC was created by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), by decree of the Affordable Care Act.  ASA continues to work with government agencies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated pain care strategy that puts the interests of patients first.

The NINDS strategy includes recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs, and also “reflects input from scientific and clinical experts and pain patient advocates. It includes objectives and plans related to key areas of pain and pain care, including professional education and training, public education and communication, service delivery and reimbursement, prevention and care, disparities, and population research.”

In response to a congressional mandate in 2010, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) contracted with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to undertake a study and make recommendation “to increase the recognition of pain as a significant public health problem in the United States.”  The IOM’s 2011 report called for a cultural transformation in pain prevention, care, education, and research.  HHS then charged the IPRCC with development of “a comprehensive population health-level strategy” to address these issues. 

Areas of importance, which were drawn from the IOM report, guided the development of the National Pain Strategy.  Coordinated by an oversight panel and expert working groups, the strategy was formulated over the past two years.

Read the 2011 IOM report, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research

Visit the IPRCC website to learn more about the National Pain Strategy

Submit comments via email to

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