The June 16 deadline is rapidly approaching for submitting comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) official docket on pain.

As covered in our May newsletter, the CDC opened this docket on April 17, requesting patients with acute and chronic pain to share their perspective on the benefits and harms of opioid use as well as their experiences with nonopioid medications and nonpharmacological treatments for pain.

So far, roughly 2,500 comments have been submitted.

Questions the CDC wants to hear back about:

  • How do you manage your pain?
  • What is your experience with various treatment options?
  • What factors influence your choice of options–like benefits, risks, cost, accessibility?
  • How do you get information about treatment options?
  • How would you improve the 2016 guidelines?
  • What recommendations do you have for CDC?

Tips for commenting:

  • Anyone can write in. You could encourage family members and loved ones to write in on your behalf.
  • Keep in mind that the comments are public. You can view comments already submitted to get a sense of how others are responding.
  • Be concise! 500 words or less (3 paragraphs) is ideal.

U.S. Pain Foundation has put together this template for individuals interested in help writing their comments.

“This is a huge opportunity for people with pain to talk about what treatments have helped them, what treatments they wish were available to them, and the obstacles they have faced in accessing treatment,” says Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy. “We encourage all people with pain and their caregivers to write in and make your views heard. U.S. Pain Foundation will be writing in from an organizational perspective.”

You can also view the CDC’s 12 guidelines on pain from 2016 here.