National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) this June is rapidly approaching! U.S. Pain is offering three fun, easy ways to get involved and help create awareness:

  1. Requesting a proclamation from your town or state
  2. Requesting a landmark or building in your town or state be lit up in purple
  3. Host a screening of “Out of My Head,” a documentary about headache and migraine disease.

To learn more about all three of these opportunities, check out last month’s news article. Keep in mind that the time to take action is now, as most of these activities require some advance planning.

In addition to the above, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), an independent research organization that evaluates the clinical and economic value of treatments and tests, is assessing the new class of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitor medicines for migraines. Insurance companies will use ICER’s final report to determine if they will cover these medicines, how much the coinsurance will be, and what types of prior authorization or step therapy will be required.

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Two U.S. Pain Foundation staff members–Cindy Steinberg, national director of Policy and Advocacy, and Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, clinical director of Pain Connection–have been nominated to serve on influential committees within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Steinberg was announced May 1 as one of 28 members appointed to the newly established Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force. Steinberg is the only representative selected from a patient organization. The task force, created as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, aims to outline best practices and address gaps and inconsistencies in the management of acute and chronic pain.

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W​orld A​UTOimmune and AUTOinflammatory A​rthritis D​ay (#WAAD18) begins on May 20 and U.S. Pain is part of a 47-hour long, online “auto” race around the world of social media and the internet. The “Race to Fuel Awareness” works to educate individuals about autoimmune and autoinflammatory arthritis and the conditions associated with both.

Why WAAD is important? Raising awareness about diseases that are often very similar in presentation, symptoms, and treatments will bring attention to this group of diseases. We will have a special focus on the type of arthritis associated with autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. Understanding this very important connection can help expedite early detection, referrals, diagnosis, and treatments in order to prevent unnecessary, irreversible damage and disability.

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The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force is a new, high-level federal think-tank consisting of 28 appointees, including Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.

Overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the task force has been charged with the following:

Propose updates to pain management best practices

  • Issue recommendations that address gaps or inconsistencies for managing chronic and acute pain
  • Provide the public with an opportunity to comment on any proposed updates and recommendations
  • Develop a strategy for disseminating such proposed updates and recommendations to relevant Federal agencies and general public
  • Provide expert advice and recommendations for pain management and prescribing pain medication

Take Action: Submit Comments from the Patient Perspective

As part of its inaugural meeting on May 30 and 31, the task force is accepting comments in person, via webcast, and online. Written comments can be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal and are due by May 25.

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