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2001 to 2010: The Decade of Pain Control and Research

Decade of Pain Control and ResearchGlenview, IL – October 31, 2000 – The 106th U.S. Congress passed H.R. 3244 and President Clinton signed this bill into law. Title VI, Sec. 1603, provides for the “Decade of Pain Control and Research,” to begin January 1, 2001. This is only the second Congressionally declared medical decade, the first being the Decade of the Brain in the 1990s.

With this designation, brought about through the efforts of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Headache Society, and the American Pain Society, it was hoped that public attention and funding for research would be focused on an under-recognized but very serious issue.

Pain lacks a significant constituency at the federal level, resulting in a lack of investment in research, education, and treatment. This Congressionally declared “Decade” will bring a much-needed focus on pain to both the public and private sectors, and is a first step in stimulating further progress in research, education and clinical management.

This is a major accomplishment for the Pain Care Coalition, and great credit is due to both Philipp M. Lippe, MD for originating the idea and to Michael Ashburn, MD for his diligent work with Senator Orrin Hatch and his staff to enact this law. Dr. Lippe serves as the Executive Medical Director for the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

The Pain Care Coalition is a national coalition that advocates for responsible pain care policies at the federal level. The Coalition was formed in 1998 by the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Headache Society, and the American Pain Society.