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Multiple pain warriors represented U.S. Pain during two important events in February: Rare Disease Day on Feb. 28 and Headache on the Hill on Feb. 13 to 14.

Headache on the Hill

On Feb. 13 to 14, U.S. Pain Foundation Advocate Katie Golden attended Headache on the Hill with members of Congress voicing the importance of appropriating funds under the Comprehensive Addition Recovery Act (CARA). Golden spoke of the importance of fully funding pain research for the National Institutes of Health under CARA alongside other patient advocates, neurologists, headache specialists, and patient caregivers.

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CMS

Many patients with chronic pain are concerned about the unintended consequences of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) newly published proposal to curb opioid misuse and abuse, “Opioid Misuse Strategy 2016.” U.S. Pain urges the pain community to email CMS by Friday, March 3, to ask them to reconsider several proposed changes that could harm people living with chronic pain.

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soldiers

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) recently released new opioid prescribing guidelines for chronic pain that are more stringent than those released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the recommendations are widely supported practices for reducing opioid misuse and abuse, such as reducing the concurrent use of benzodiazepines and opioids, employing risk mitigation strategies and avoiding prescribing of extended release/long-acting opioids for acute pain. Other recommendations are highly concerning and may unintentionally and unnecessarily harm veterans, says Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain’s national director of policy advocacy. Supporting veterans and military service members with chronic pain is one of U.S. Pain Foundation’s key national policy priorities.

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Thoms testifying.

Although still a newer technology in the medical field, biosimilars remain an ongoing priority topic for U.S. Pain Foundation. The 2017 legislative session has seen 13 states take up the task of approving legislation pertaining to biosimilar products. U.S. Pain’s state advocacy team has been diligently tracking bills relating to this treatment option, with one bill bringing advocacy efforts all the way to the state of Alaska. But before turning the spotlight to Alaska, where pain ambassador-advocates testified on biosimilar legislation on Feb. 10, let’s first take a closer look at biologic and biosimilar products.

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Assemblyman

13-year-old Tyler Cashman, U.S. Pain director of pediatric awareness and fundraising, has raised more than $8,600 so far this year through three recent Points for Pain basketball games. All of the games took place in Cashman’s home state of New Jersey. The first was at Old Turnpike Middle School on Dec. 14, the second at Voorhees High School on Jan. 31 and the third at Montclair State University on Feb. 11. At the Jan. 31 game, which took place at Cashman’s high school, New Jersey Assemblyman Erik Peterson presented him with a resolution recognizing his exceptional advocacy work.

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TN2
Lemiska meeting with a sponsor of the Reliable Coverage Act in Tennessee.

Non-medical switching, or when insurers force patients off medications for financial reasons, continues to be a hot button topic in numerous states. U.S. Pain is leading coalitions in three states that introduced bills to prohibit non-medical switching last month: Tennessee, Illinois, and Connecticut. U.S. Pain is a member of coalitions in multiple other states, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Washington.

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essential

U.S. Pain was one of 200 other patient organizations to sign a letter to U.S. Human and Health Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price asking him to maintain and enforce critical patient protections and prescription drug access when reviewing and suggesting changes to the Affordable Care Act. The 200 groups are part of the “I am essential” coalition, which represents millions of patients and their families and is dedicated to protecting quality, comprehensive, and affordable health care. To read the letter, click here. To read a press release about the letter, click here.

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2016 Achievements p2

As the nation’s leading patient advocacy organization dedicated to those living living in pain and their families, 2016 was a year of continued growth and leadership for the U.S. Pain Foundation.

“We are proud of everything we have achieved through the help of our advocates, ambassadors, volunteers, and members,” says Paul Gileno, U.S. Pain founder and president. “Each one of you has allowed us to develop into an organization entirely dedicated to patients.”

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TCOYP

On April 2, U.S. Pain Foundation and the New York State Pain Society (NYSPS) will host Take Control of Your Pain (TCOYP) in West Harrison, New York. A central program of the organization for the past five years, the intent of TCOYP is to empower individuals to become better educated regarding treatment options and the importance of advocating for one’s health.

According to Paul Gileno, founder and president of U.S. Pain, “These patient education events supply people with pain with the information, hope, and community support needed to better manage their pain.”

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Contact: Shaina Smith
860-315-7307
shaina@uspainfoundation.org

MIDDLETOWN, CONN. – Feb. 17, 2017 –The Illinois Fair Care Coalition, made up of 14 concerned patient and provider groups, praised new legislation designed to provide safeguards for consumers enrolled in prescription coverage plans. The grassroots partnership joined with state representatives and bill sponsors Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) to announce House Bill 2694, which would prevent Illinoisans from having their prescription coverage interrupted during the health plan year through a practice known as non-medical switching.

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