21st Century Cures offers much-needed help for those suffering from addiction but work remains to improve access to non-opioid pain therapy options

WASHINGTON – Today, the Alliance for Balanced Pain Management (AfBPM) made the following statement on the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which included $1 billion in funds for opioid abuse prevention and treatment.

STATEMENT FROM BRIAN KENNEDY, ALLIANCE FOR BALANCED PAIN MANAGEMENT STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER:

“We applaud Congress for passing the 21st Century Cures Act and including funding to help address the pressing opioid crisis.  Prevention and curbing abuse is important, but must also be accompanied by access to a balanced pain management approach. Access to integrated pain care that provides non-opioid options for treating chronic and acute pain will give patients more options to treat their pain while reducing the amount of opioids prescribed and the risk for addiction to occur. Additionally, access to abuse deterrent formulations can offer relief to patients while reducing the risk of misuse, abuse and diversion. Beyond the 21st Century Cures Act we urge lawmakers to make balanced pain management a priority so that physicians and their patients, not insurance companies, can determine the best course of treatment.”

In response to the opioid crisis, the 21st Century Cures Act will provide states $1 billion over two years in grant funding to enhance prescription drug monitoring programs, implement prevention activities, train health care providers and expand access to opioid treatment programs.

The act marks the second major piece of legislation passed by this Congress to address opioid misuse and strengthen treatment options. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) passed Congress in July.

Balanced pain management is an additional tool to combat abuse by implementing a comprehensive approach to diagnosing, treating and controlling pain that ensures practitioners and their patients drive treatment decisions. This integrated approach may include medications and non-pharmacologic approaches such as physical therapy and chiropractic care, as well as psychosocial treatments to address the emotional and social effects of pain.  

A balanced pain management approach can reduce reliance on opioid-only treatment, giving patients greater access to personalized pain care.

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