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Monday, January 9, 2012

The meeting was attended by co-chairs of the Pain Consortium Executive Committee and program staff from across the participating ICs.

Dr. Dave Thomas (NIDA) provided an update on the Centers of Excellence for Pain Education (CoEPEs) initiative. The initiative now includes pharmacy schools and professional societies will be able to participate in certain capacities, but not apply directly. International schools would also not be able to apply directly, but partnerships with US institutions would be a viable mechanism for participation. Inter-professional education among nurses, doctors, pharmacists, etc will be encouraged and there will be more flexibility about the appropriate career stage to start training. The RFP for CoEPEs was released on December 30th, 2011. Responses will be posted on January 20th, 2012, applications due March 5th, with awards in April and launch meeting in summer 2012. Questions about reviewers and co-funding from research foundations and other sources were discussed following the update.

Dr. Partap Khalsa (NCCAM) informed members that as recommended by the Research Diagnostic Criteria/Chronic Low Back Pain Steering Committee, the Research Task Force (RTF) for establishing chronic lower back pain (cBLP) research diagnostic criteria had been formed and the charge developed. The RTF consists of 16 external members. A teleconference will be followed by an in-person meeting on March 5-6th, 2012 to prepare for a larger stakeholder meeting later this year.

Dr. Story Landis (Director, NINDS) and Dr. Amy Adams (NIDCR) informed the Pain Consortium that all members of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) have been officially appointed and preparations are currently underway for the first committee meeting.

Dr. Nora Volkow (Director, NIDA) and Consortium members discussed the merits of a proposal to develop a national pain registry and established next steps towards making a decision.

Dr. Linda Porter (NINDS) will solicit input from Consortium members to finalize speakers for the NIH Pain Consortium 7th Annual Symposium to be held at NIH from May 29-30, 2011.

Dr. John Kusiak (NIDCR) reported that the Trans-NIH Working Group on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions held their first meeting on December 19, 2011 and discussed research goals for chronic overlapping pain conditions (COPC) – including understanding of current knowledge, future research directions, and identifying people with COPC. The working group will soon begin planning for the summer conference on COPC.