February 09, 2018
Sen. Schatz Introduces ASA and HSA Supported Bill on Pain Research
The American Society of Anesthesiologists, along with the state component society, the Hawaii Society of Anesthesiologists (HSA), are pleased to support S. 2260, the Opioids and Stop Pain Initiative Act. This bill, introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), will ensure that new research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) continues to grow and focus on initiatives directed at addressing opioid abuse. The bill will advance both a greater understanding of pain, as well as the discovery and development of safer and more effective treatments and preventative interventions for pain.
ASA is committed to working with Congress to address the opioid epidemic and has been a long-time supporter of increased pain research and research into non-opioid alternatives. Building these programs within the NIH are essential to ensuring patients get access to the therapies they need and to curbing that nation’s reliance on opioids to treat pain. In a letter to Senator Schatz, the HSA also emphasized the importance of pain research and highlighted physician anesthesiologists’ role in addressing the opioid crisis. For example, physician anesthesiologists not only understand the intricacy of postoperative surgical pain and the alternative treatment options to best manage this pain, they also specialize in pain medicine and treat complex patients affected by chronic pain.
ASA and the HSA are pleased the Opioids and Stop Pain Initiative Act encompasses the significant appropriation of funding for the NIH ($5 billion over five years) set out in previous passed legislation, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA or P.L. 114-198). CARA directed the NIH to intensify pain research, including alternative treatments to opioids. Unfortunately, the NIH still faces challenges in growing these opportunities and this additional funding would be greatly beneficial to addressing the nation’s opioid epidemic.
Learn more about the Opioids and Stop Pain Initiative Act
Download resources on opioids