Patient advocates, clinicians, administrators, policymakers, and other experts in pain and addiction medicine came together Dec. 6 for the “Summit on Balanced Pain Management” in Washington, D.C., to discuss providing effective, safe pain care while addressing the opioid crisis. Hosted by the Alliance for Balanced Pain Management (AfBPM), the day featured panels and lectures on topics ranging from implementing the National Pain Strategy to how clinicians can provide balanced care in their practice.

SBPMShaina Smith, U.S. Pain’s director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development, presented on a panel about safe usage of opioid medications and preventing abuse through innovations like prescription monitoring programs and abuse-deterrent formularies (ADFs). ADFs are tamper-resistant versions of opioid pills that can’t be snorted or injected.

“Lawmakers and patients need to come together to provide safe and fair access,” said Smith. “You don’t want to create policies that harm any particular patient population.”

Keynote speakers were Ryan Leaf, a former NFL quarterback, who spoke about opioid addiction and recovery, and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), who discussed how Congress can support balanced pain management.

U.S. Pain Foundation is an AfBPM steering committee member. The AfBPM is an alliance of 24 health advocacy organizations—including both patient and clinician groups—and industry stakeholders. Its mission is to advocate for balanced pain management by supporting organizations and individuals who share a common goal to reduce pain, reduce medicine abuse and improve care. To learn more, visit http://alliancebpm.org/.