Ninety Percent of Polled Pain Care Professionals Express Fear of Regulation

Saturday, September 8, 2007 General News
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LAS VEGAS, Sept. 7 When asked to assess their level offear of government regulation of their pain management practices, nearly halfof 200 health care professionals surveyed during PAINWeek 2007 said the threatof regulation had "significant" or "high" impact on their practice.Approximately 90 percent reported at least "low" impact.

The survey results come amid growing controversy surrounding use ofopioids - the strongest class of painkillers - and physicians' willingness toprescribe them.

In March, the state of Washington became the first state in the nation toadopt a suggested daily limit on opioid doses.

"What is at stake here is the well-being of tens of millions of Americanswho suffer with pain," explained American Society of Pain Educators ExecutiveDirector B. Eliot Cole, MD, MPA. "Clearly, increased regulation would have adisastrous, chilling effect on care givers' ability to manage patients' bonafide, diagnosed pain."

Additionally, when asked about the importance of putting oversight ofmedical decisions in the hands of medical professionals as opposed to lawenforcement regulators, 69 percent of those surveyed called that "mostimportant" to their ability to manage their patients' pain.

According to 43 percent of PAINWeek delegates, lack of adequate painmanagement education during their professional training has a high-impact ontheir ability to provide appropriate pain management to their patients.

Nearly a dozen national medical associations and 700 delegates devoted tothe practice of pain management are gathered at PAINWeek 2007, the firstconference of its kind, in Las Vegas. The four-day conference provides aunique environment for the participating organizations to share theirexpertise with frontline healthcare practitioners.

Participating organizations include The National Stroke Association (NSA),the American Headache Society (AHS), the National Fibromyalgia ResearchAssociation (NFRA), the American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE), theRheumatology Nurses Society (RNS), Western Pain Society (WPS), Pain Society ofOregon (PSO), Trigeminal Neuralgia Association (TNA), Nevada PsychiatricAssociation (NPA), International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association(IMDHA) and the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM).

PAINWeek 2007, intended primarily for frontline clinicians such asphysicians, nursing professionals, physician assistants, dentists,pharmacists, psychologists, and podiatrists, offers more than 70 sessionspresented by the participating organizations and leading authorities in painmanagement.

The four-day conference offers the following course concentrations:Practicum in Pain Management, Pain Educators Forum, Fundamentals in PainManagement, and Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT), along with Behavioraland Electroanalgesia Tracks. Fundamentals in Pain Management have beendeveloped specifically to help clinicians from California and Oregon meettheir state mandates for pain management and end-of-life continuing medicaleducation. The variety of session offerings allows practitioners to customizea curriculum relevant to their practice needs.

Adding to the roster of educational activities are courses supported byCephalon, Eli Lilly and Company, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc, TakedaNorth America, and TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. These programs will bepresented in the areas of osteoarthritis fibromyalgia, breakthrough pain,NSAID-induced gastrointestinal toxicity, menstrual- associated migraines, andcultural differences. Endo is also supporting the National Initiative on PainControl(R) (NIPC(R)). NIPC educational activities highlight the magnitude ofthe problems surrounding pain management, providing guidance in painassessment and offering appropriate treatment strategies for helpinghealthcare professionals improve functionality and quality of lif

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