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Long-Awaited National Pain Strategy Released

On Friday, March 18, 2016, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell released the long-awaited National Pain Strategy: A Comprehensive Population-Health Strategy for Pain (NSP). Developed by six federal agencies, along with 80 experts from the medical-scientific, public private, patient and advocacy communities (including ICA), the National Pain Strategy is the federal government’s first coordinated interagency plan and roadmap to achieve a system of effective, safe, high-quality, evidence-based pain care in America. This improved system of care is critical to reducing the burden of chronic pain, as well as addressing the nation’s opioid abuse, overdose, and addiction crisis.

The National Pain Strategy provides a clear, actionable, and achievable roadmap that will generate critical population research and health services data; advance prevention and pain care strategies; address disparities in pain assessment and treatment; improve pain service delivery and reimbursement; improve medical professional education and training; and foster public education and communication strategies. Further, the National Pain Strategy clearly delineates short-, medium-, and long-term deliverables, identifies key federal and non-federal stakeholders, and recommends strategies to measure impact.

Millions of Americans, including those in the IC community, are counting on Congress to see the National Pain Strategy through to completion. Join us in urging them to transform the National Pain Strategy from words on a page to meaningful change by requesting an implementation plan and corresponding budget.

A copy of the National Pain Strategy can be viewed at