Support HR 1020: The National Pain Care Policy Act of 2005 Take action! Contact your Congressional representative to encourage co-sponsorship of the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2005 (HR 1020). Strong support has been received from the patient and professional pain management community, as well as related organizations that work with painful conditions such as cancer, musculoskeletal, neuropathic, headache/migraine, and burn pain. This united voice for change reflects that it is no longer tolerable that 75 million American suffer pain and the majority do not receive appropriate care. “This wide-ranging support is a clear indication of how pain cuts across race, age, gender and numerous medical conditions,” said Will Rowe, Executive Director, American Pain Foundation. “The pain community and other stakeholders are demonstrating to our elected officials their strength in numbers and the opportunity that they have to make a difference in the lives of millions of their constituents.” H.R. 1020, which was reintroduced by Congressman Michael Rogers (MI-8) in 2005, is designed to raise public awareness, improve pain education for healthcare providers, improve access to pain management services, and to increase research on pain conditions. While pain is the leading complaint of people visiting a healthcare professional, medical schools require limited hours of curriculum to pain, if at all. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health designate less than one percent of their annual budget to research on pain. “Creating the National Pain Care Policy Act is about achieving victory for millions of American living with pain and the negative impact it has on their lives, the lives of their families, and on the nation's health and well-being. It's about giving people with daily, hourly pain real hope for the future,” said Rogers, a member of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health. The text of the H.R. 1020 bill is available at http://thomas.loc.gov. An estimated 75 million Americans suffer serious pain annually: Fifty million of those endure serious chronic pain (pain lasting six months or more), and another 25 million experience acute pain (i.e. injuries, accidents, surgeries). Headache, lower back pain, arthritis and other joint pain, and peripheral neuropathy are the most common forms of chronic pain. Despite the incidence of pain, research has shown that only one in four of those with pain received adequate treatment. The National Institutes of Health estimate that pain costs more than $100 billion per year in medical expenses, lost wages and lost productivity. Research has also shown that those with chronic pain experience difficulties on the job and their personal relationships suffer due to their condition, a toll that is more difficult to quantify in terms of dollars.