HHS Secretary Alex Azar this week announced awards of $107 million to improve the quality of healthcare for HIV/AIDS and the opioid crisis, specifically in rural America which has been hard hit by the opioid crisis.
Yet as efforts continue in treating opioid addiction or preventing exposure to opioids for first time pain patients, HHS still has not allocated funds for research into the long term benefits or consequences of treating chronic non-cancer pain. 50 million Americans suffer from daily chronic pain, 10% of those with high impact, long term pain which prevents or hinders employment, forcing millions into lower paying jobs or unemployment, raising the costs of entitlement programs.
Having a Government which prides itself on evidence based medical care is inspiring, yet when Government fails to collect evidence on a large segment of the our population, which is negatively impacted by Government regulation, the losses and suffering can be staggering.
As presidential campaigning swings into high gear, none of the candidates running in the 2020 election, have announced a plan for addressing the collateral damage caused to the 10-20 million Americans living with chronic pain on a daily basis. They continue to be the forgotten and neglected part of our society, which prior to 2016, were gainfully employed tax payers.
While many in the chronic pain community continue their efforts to reach out to local, state and federal representatives, to discuss their needs, candidates continue to brush them off or respond with a letter of thanks, but no action, refusing honest conversations about the unintended consequences of the government’s war on opioids.