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Sep-07-2010 21:21TweetFollow @OregonNews
Pain Classified as a Disease?
Marianne Skolek Salem-News.com
(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - If "pain" is recognized as a "disease" and not a "symptom" -- there won't be enough hours in the day for the DEA, the DOJ, or the FDA to restrain the pharmaceutical industry drug cartels.
Last week the first International Pain Summit was held in Montreal at the 13th World Congress on Pain. A "leading pain authority" by the name of Michael Cousins, an Australian anesthesiologist, reported that about 80 per cent of people with chronic pain do not get adequate relief and are suffering needlessly throughout the world.
“This has gone on for too long. Pain has been regarded as a simple problem. It must be recognized as a disease in its own right,” said Cousins, the driving force behind the Summit.
The economic fallout from not treating pain in Australia alone is enormous, about $34 billion a year in health-care costs and work days lost, said Cousins, director of the Pain Management Research Institute in Sydney. He helped draft Australia’s national pain management strategy in March.
One out of every five people experience pain that lingers beyond three months, and a third of them are disabled “as badly as people with heart failure,” said Cousins who also chaired the international steering committee drafting the Montreal Declaration on pain, aimed at bringing attention to inadequate pain policies worldwide.
Issued by delegates from 84 countries, the declaration says that proper pain treatment is a fundamental human right.
It also calls on governments and health-care institutions to establish laws, policies and systems that will help promote access to pain management. "Patients should be believed when they complain of chronic pain", Cousins said. Primary care doctors need more training at the undergraduate level and countries need more pain medicine specialists, he added.
“There’s a year wait to get into my pain clinic and it’s three years for migraine headache sufferers. Some commit suicide,” Cousins said. With such long waiting times to be seen at Dr. Cousins pain clinic and suicides weighing on him -- maybe adding staff would cut the "wait" and ease his conscience. Or maybe Cousins should consult with the State of Florida to hear how they're dealing with the deluge of pain clinics set up to fight this "pain epidemic" marketed by pharmaceutical companies.
Although it might serve Cousins well to use the term "pill mills" rather than pain clinics when consulting with Florida authorities. "This declaration signifies a historic day to advocates of pain management as well as those who suffer from chronic pain worldwide," said G.F. Gebhart, PhD, president of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and professor and director of the Center for Pain Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
"It is our hope that, with this declaration, all countries will begin to develop policies and regulations regarding widespread access to pain management regardless of gender, race, age and other factors."
Dr. Gebhart's name was familiar to me and after some research, I found some interesting information about him.
In 2003, Dr. Gebhart won the American Pain Society’s Distinguished Service Award, and in 2004, the Purdue Pharma Prize for Pain Research. (Purdue Pharma is a corporate member of the American Pain Society). And in 1995, a book was written entitled "The Year Book of Pain" by Gerald F. Gebhart and J. David Haddox, VP of Health Policy at Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin.
So who benefits from pain being recognized as a "disease" while every state in the country deals with epidemics of addiction, death and pill mills? I would suggest that the DEA, the DOJ, and the FDA be prepared for unimaginable workloads if Purdue Pharma and their pain societies are successful at pushing pain as a disease.
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein
Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.
You can send Marianne an email at: email@example.com