The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is planning to announce the finalization of a rule that could change how physicians are reimbursed for Medicare part B drugs (drugs administered in doctors’ offices) that are bought and billed by physicians and given to patients.

The regulation would combine newer, more innovative drugs with lower-cost generics into a single lump group for payment purposes. One type of innovative drugs, called 505(b)(2), are built on the research used to approve past medications, but add new technologies or improvements to the medication, like timed release. Examples of these medications are injected steroids for chronic pain and non-opioid alternative medications used for post-surgical pain.

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My IC journey: Finding hope in community

By: Nina Torres

In 2016, I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as bladder pain syndrome. I was diagnosed at 24 years old; however, I have felt this pain since childhood. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder illness that affects 3-6% of women in the United States. It also affects men but is often mistaken for another illness. According to the CDC, 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain patients are often overlooked, which causes distrust in the health care system. Chronic pain is widely underfunded, undertreated, and misunderstood. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that consists of recurring pain, urinary urgency, and frequency.

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It’s one thing to hear about implanted neuromodulation from clinicians—but it’s another to hear about it directly from patients who have personal experience.

Join us tonight

Learn about implanted neuromodulation during a patient panel discussion tonight at 8 pm ET! We’ll be discussing what to ask your doctor about this category of treatment, considerations for choosing a device, and more. We’ll also answer questions live from the audience.

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A pharmacist answers your OTC questions

In October, U.S. Pain hosted a webinar, “Pain relief in your pharmacy aisle: A pharmacist discusses OTC options,” with Jeffrey Fudin, PharmD. The discussion covered different classes of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, what may work best for certain types of pain, the pros and cons of various delivery methods, how to avoid side effects and interactions, and more. During the webinar, patients in the audience asked a number of questions, but we weren’t able to get to all of them. Fortunately, Himayapsill Batista Quevedo, PharmD, in collaboration with Dr. Fudin, have put together answers to some of those questions below. We’ve arranged them into four categories: efficacy; specific indications; topical medications; and side effects and risks.

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By: Ellen Lenox Smith

We are all coping with different issues as a result of the pandemic. These issues range from housing and living situations, reduction or loss of employment, child care, education with some experiencing virtual learning, financial issues, and isolation from family and friends while attempting to remain safe. However, those of us also living with chronic pain have to add this coping to our list.

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In honor of Veterans Day, the U.S. Pain Foundation is pleased to announce a new virtual support group for veterans and active members of the military dealing with chronic pain. The support group is part of Pain Connection, the organization’s national network of support groups.

“Veterans are 40 percent more likely to experience chronic pain than civilians,” says Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Pain Connection’s Clinical Director. “In addition, they face high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans and active military members need and deserve specialized support that recognizes the unique challenges they face.”

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Join us Nov. 12 at 1 pm ET for our next #NeuromodulationKnowledge webinar, “TENS to SCS: What type of neuromodulation is right for me?” with Michael Leong, MD.

As Director of Neuromodulation at Stanford University, Dr. Leong is an expert in this unique field of treatment. He’ll be discussing external and implanted neuromodulation therapies from head to toe, including TENS units, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, intrathecal pumps, and more! He’ll also offer considerations for using each type and answer your questions live.

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How to participate in a Twitter chat

We’re kicking off our #NeuromodulationKnowledge campaign with a Twitter chat tonight at 8 pm ET.

Our featured participants are the International Neuromodulation Society, Paul Christo, MD, and For Grace. But the conversation is open to all!

To participate or follow along, just look for the hashtag #PainChat or visit our Twitter page, @US_Pain. We’ll be talking about the science behind neuromodulation, the pros and cons, what patients should know, and more.

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