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February 21, 2012 » Toronto

Canadian Pain Summit – Media Statement
Prescription Drug Addiction is a Complex Societal Problem
National Pain Strategy Provides a Blueprint Solution

Toronto, On – February 21, 2012 - The Canadian Pain Society (CPS) applauds the development of a new tamper-resistant formulation of a useful pain drug aimed at reducing the harms due to prescription medication misuse and diversion. This represents an important strategy but we believe that reducing opioid misuse, abuse, and diversion is everyone's responsibility. This includes: health professionals, the health care system, academic institutions, patients, communities, the pharmaceutical industry, governing bodies, law enforcement, the justice system and the media.

Because addiction is a complex societal problem, it is critical to coordinate a strategic response that involves all stakeholders. Key members of the CPS have participated in the National Dialogue on Prescription Drug Misuse, sponsored by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. This group has met twice in the past year (most recently Feb 1st-2nd, 2012) to develop effective multi-stakeholder strategies that can reduce the harms of prescription pain medication misuse in a way that does not harm people with pain who require these medications as an essential part of their treatment. We cannot let people with serious pain become the collateral damage of the war on prescription drug misuse.

“Between 6 and 7 Million Canadians suffer from moderate to severe chronic painful conditions. In addition, many more people undergo surgical procedures or face painful trauma or pain related to cancer, where opioid medications are often the best option we have to treat serious pain,” said Dr. Mary Lynch, co-chair of the Canadian Pain Summit and past CPS President. “Pain in our society is still under recognized and poorly treated. This is due to many factors, including a lack of adequate education regarding pain management in our medical schools (veterinarians receive 5 times more training in pain treatment than medical doctors), and lack of funded access to non drug treatments for pain such as physiotherapy, psychology, or multidisciplinary pain teams when complex chronic pain develops. This is also the case for our children. In fact, most Canadian children do not have access to best practice pain care. This is unacceptable in a country like Canada with a comprehensive health care system. We need to fix this chronic health issue now.”

In partnership with the Canadian Pain Coalition (CPC) and numerous pain stakeholders, the CPS has developed a blueprint for a solution in the form of a National Pain Strategy. Please visit www.canadianpainsummit2012.ca for more information and to show your support today.

About the National Pain Strategy

It’s time for Canadians to rise up against pain. The first-ever Canadian Pain Summit will take place in Ottawa on April 24th, 2012. It is essential that Canada take on a leading role in proceeding with a national pain strategy and that pain patients are part of the solution. Canadians are urged to visit www.canadianpainsummit2012.ca and endorse the national pain strategy.

About the Canadian Pain Society
The Canadian Pain Society has been a chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain since 1982. The aim of the CPS is to foster and encourage research on pain mechanisms and pain syndromes and to help improve the management of patients with acute and chronic pain by bringing together the basic scientists and health professionals of various disciplines and backgrounds who have an interest in pain research and management. (www.canadianpainsociety.ca/@CanadianPain)

For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Rob McEwan
Argyle Communications
(416) 968-7311 ext. 242
rmcewan@argylecommunications.com

Caroline De Silva
Argyle Communications
416-968-7311 ext. 231
cdesilva@argylecommunications.com