Final Report – Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations: “Patients with acute and chronic pain in the United States face a crisis because of significant challenges in obtaining adequate care, resulting in profound physical, emotional, and societal costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 million adults in the United States have chronic daily pain, with 19.6 million adults experiencing high-impact chronic pain that interferes with daily life or work activities. The cost of pain to our nation is estimated at between $560 billion and $635 billion annually. At the same time, our nation is facing an opioid crisis that, over the past two decades, has resulted in an unprecedented wave of overdose deaths associated with prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids.
The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (Task Force) was convened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with the Office of National Drug Control Policy to address acute and chronic pain in light of the ongoing opioid crisis. The Task Force mandate is to identify gaps, inconsistencies, and updates and to make recommendations for best practices for managing acute and chronic pain. The 29-member Task Force included federal agency representatives as well as non federal experts and representatives from a broad group of stakeholders. The Task Force considered relevant medical and scientific literature and information provided by government and non government experts in pain management, addiction, and mental health as well as representatives from various disciplines. The Task Force also reviewed and considered patient testimonials and public meeting comments, including approximately 6,000 comments from the public submitted during a 90-day public comment period and 3,000 comments from two public meetings.The Task Force emphasizes the importance of individualized patient-centered care in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pain. This report is broad and deep and will have sections that are relevant to different groups of stakeholders regarding best practices. See the table of contents and the sections and subsections of this broad report to best identify that which is most useful for the various clinical disciplines, educators, researchers, administrators, legislators, and other key stakeholders….”