A diverse collective of health care advocacy groups, patient organizations, industry representatives and other stakeholders today announced they have established the Alliance for Balanced Pain Management (AfBPM) to support appropriate access to integrated pain management and responsible use of prescription pain medicines with an aim to reduce abuse. AfBPM will work collaboratively to educate, support and advocate on behalf of people affected by pain, both acute and chronic.
Chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans and an untold number of people are affected by acute pain.1 Important attention is being given to the rise in abuse, misuse and diversion of prescription pain medications, yet many people still receive inadequate pain assessment and treatment.1 According to a recent report issued by the National Institutes of Health, 40 percent to 70 percent of people with chronic pain are not receiving proper medical treatment.2 Proper medical treatment can include physical therapy and rehabilitation, psychological counseling, social support, medication and other complementary approaches.
AfBPM is composed of 22 organizations including a steering committee made up of the Alliance for Patient Access, the American Cancer Society, the American Chronic Pain Association, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The Gerontological Society of America.
AfBPM formally launched following a two-day Summit held November 18 and 19, 2014 that focused equally on how to help ensure people with pain receive the care they need while also countering abuse, misuse and diversion of prescription medicine.
Goals of the Alliance for Balanced Pain Management
- Ensure people with or affected by pain have appropriate access to integrated, effective and safe care, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation, psychological counseling, social support, medication and other complementary approaches.
- Reinforce the critical need to safely prescribe, dispense, take, store and dispose of prescription medications with an aim to reduce abuse, misuse and diversion.
- Support organizations and individuals who share a common goal to reduce pain, improve care and advocate for responsible use of medicine.
- Share tools and materials for its members to educate their constituents and the public about integrated pain management strategies and responsible use of medicine.
Defining Balanced Pain Management
AfBPM defines balanced pain management as a comprehensive approach to diagnosing, treating and controlling pain. It uses a multi-pronged and individualized treatment plan to coordinate safe and effective options that can address the physical, emotional, social and psychological aspects of pain. In a balanced approach to pain management, people with pain, along with family members and caregivers, learn to manage their pain in safe, effective, responsible and healthy ways to improve or maintain their overall well-being.
1 Institute of Medicine. Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2011.
2 National Institutes of Health. Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain. Draft Executive Summary. September 29-30, 2014.