The sheer number of individuals living with chronic pain and the brand associated with the use of analgesics is staggering. Health Day News writes that low back pain alone causes more disability than nearly 300 other conditions worldwide. In addition, almost 1 in 10 people across the world suffers from an "aching" lower back. According to Insurance.com, one of the top two causes of disability is due to low back pain. Notwithstanding the economic burden of being physically challenged due to chronic pain. The US Census Bureau reports that adults aged 21 to 64 with disabilities typically earned less than those without disabilities. The median monthly earnings for people with any disability was $1,961 compared with $2,724 for those without any disability.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee was commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to undertake two studies related to issues surrounding the utilization of Medicare. [The HHS oversees Medicare.] One finding suggested that more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity. The IOM also concluded "that pain is not optimally managed in the United States and that the effective treatment of chronic pain will require a coordinated national effort to transform how the public, policy makers, and health care providers view the condition."
In 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association(ACPA) started a campaign aimed at increasing the public's awareness to acute and chronic pain suffers. Under the roof of ACPA's self-proclaimed "Partners for Understanding Pain," they brought together organizations whose missions were complementary to their goals. One such goal was to establish September as "National Pain Awareness Month". This month over 80 organizations under the banner of "Partners for Understanding Pain" will host various events throughout the country. Their aim is to educate the public so that "chronic pain may be more readily recognized, better understood without the traditional stigma attached, and more fittingly treated and managed."
One such collaboration, sponsored by Kaleo in partnership with national patient and professional organizations, is America Starts Talking. America Starts Talking provides information to empower patients suffering from chronic pain and encourages them to have meaningful conversations with their family and physicians.