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Pain patients need and deserve a seat at the table (even if it means bringing in a cot!). On Feb. 12, they finally got one.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) for including Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain, during its hearing on ‘Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis,'” says Interim CEO Nicole Hemmenway. “We are even more grateful to Cindy for bravely sharing her story and perspective.”

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Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation, has been selected as one of four expert witnesses to speak at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The hearing, “Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis,” will take place in Washington, D.C., next Tuesday, February 12, at 10 am EST.

Steinberg will be allotted five minutes to speak and will answer questions from committee members. One of her key messages: While we must ensure that Congress’ large investments to ameliorate harms from opioid use disorder are accomplishing that important goal, we also must correct unintentional harms suffered by Americans living with pain and ensure that policy reform going forward considers pain patients’ needs as well.

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A high-ranking federal task force has released its much-anticipated draft report with recommendations for improving the management of chronic and acute pain. The public is being asked to provide feedback on the report by April 1.

On Jan. 16, Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation and the only patient and patient advocacy representative on the task force, presented a webinar on the report, why it matters and how to weigh in.

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It can seem, sometimes, like the federal government is weighing in on pain care without understanding what patients go through. Fortunately, a new task force charged with creating recommendations for pain management has worked hard to include the patient perspective.

This task force, called the Pain Management Best Practices Intra-Agency Task Force, recently released a much-anticipated draft report with recommendations for managing acute and chronic pain. After a 90-day public comment period ending April 1, the report will be finalized and submitted to Congress.

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Today, the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force released its much-anticipated draft report with recommendations for improving the lives of millions of individuals with acute and chronic pain. The task force, which was was convened last year, is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and comprised of 29 members, including Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.

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From left, Steinberg and Herman.

The Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC), the nation’s highest-level pain policy committee, convened on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Nov. 16 for its second meeting of 2018. U.S. Pain Foundation has two appointees on this prestigious committee: Cindy Steinberg, national director of policy and advocacy, and Gwenn Herman, clinical director of Pain Connection.

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According to new national data, an estimated 50 million or 20.4 percent of U.S. adults have chronic pain. Meanwhile, 19.6 million or 8 percent have high-impact chronic pain. The study was reported in the Sep. 14 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication.

“This recent epidemiological study is incredibly important, because it provides the most precise data we have to date on the prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain in the U.S. adult population,” says Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain Foundation’s national director of policy and advocacy.

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U.S. Pain’s Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development Shaina Smith was among the speakers at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s (BIO) Patient and Health Advocacy Summit held Oct. 25 and 26 in Washington, D.C. The annual event brings together patient advocacy organizations, academia, regulators, biotechnology industry, and other stakeholders to discuss timely policy issues and share best practices. This year, attendees were treated to a surprise appearance from U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

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Policymakers across both aisles have had mixed viewpoints when it comes to cultivating cannabis, not in the literal sense, but as it relates to bills that would permit individuals to access medical cannabis. Several states, however, are expanding or considering expanding their medical cannabis programs, including Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. In addition, some federal institutions have taken steps to improve access: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Congress.

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The Senate and House have agreed to a compromise opioid bill HR 6, the SUPPORT Act, which has passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate this week and be signed into law by the President. This is the second big piece of legislation Congress has created to address the opioid crisis, with a total of 660 pages.

“The bill does include a number of positive provisions from a pain management perspective, but also continues a troubling pattern in recent legislation of penalizing the use of opioids for legitimate pain management,” said Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain National Director of Policy and Advocacy.

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