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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The meeting was attended by three NIH Pain Consortium Executive Committee members along with program staff from participating ICs.

Dr. Nora Volkow (Director, NIDA) introduced a Workshop Conference Concept for Treatment of Chronic Pain focused on the use of opiates for chronic pain. She highlighted the magnitude of the pain burden in the US and corresponding issues with chronic pain management and prescription drug use as discussed in the recent IOM Pain Report. To address these issues, Dr. Volkow proposed utilizing NIH’s consensus development program to hold a hybrid state of the science/consensus workshop conference focused on the use of opiates for chronic pain. The conference would be co-hosted by the NIH Pain Consortium and the NIH Office of Disease Prevention. Dr. Volkow’s presentation was followed by an extensive discussion about the scope of the conference and the importance of identifying specific questions to be answered by the conference. The conference is tentatively scheduled for end of summer 2013 and NIH Pain Consortium member volunteers interested in planning the conference were asked to submit their names.

Dr. Kristen Huntley (NCCAM) introduced a NCCAM program concept to stimulate research on the use of non-pharmacologic approaches to pain and symptom management in military and veteran populations. Providing background information, she noted the public health needs of returning US military forces with a high burden of chronic pain and co-morbid disorders and highlighted the Department of Defense/Veteran’s Affairs (DoD/VA) and NCCAM’s shared interest in integrative approaches to pain management. She mentioned recent NCCAM activities including a funding opportunity announcement to support collaborative activities with the DoD/VA and outlined next steps for furthering these complementary partnerships. Dr. Huntley closed by describing potential areas of emphasis for a new trans-NIH initiative on management of pain and co-morbid disorders among US military and veteran populations and invited other NIH Pain Consortium Institutes and Centers to participate.

Dr. Jack Killen (NCCAM) announced that Dr. M. Catherine Bushnell was appointed Scientific Director of the NCCAM Intramural Pain Program on July 2, 2012 and will be leading the basic and clinical research portfolios.

Dr. Dave Thomas (NIDA) thanked everyone for their extensive help with reviewing applications for the NIH Pain Consortium Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs) initiative. Twelve centers have been funded and the kickoff event with a reception and talks was scheduled for July 10-11, 2012. Dr. Thomas noted that the kickoff event would include an introduction to the initiative and discussions on communication strategies, appropriate educational material for the pain portal, and strategies to produce a cultural change among healthcare professionals regarding pain treatment and management.

Dr. Partap Khalsa (NCCAM) reported that a summary was being developed of the first Research Task Force (RTF) on Standards for Research on Chronic Lower Back Pain meeting which included discussions on the classification criteria and operational definitions of chronic lower back pain. A survey has been sent to the task force members to solicit their formal opinions. The next meeting of the task force is scheduled for early October 2012 and the next stakeholder meeting tentatively planned for 2013.

Dr. Richard Denisco (NIDA) updated members on the NIH Pain Consortium National Pain Registry Contract with Dr. Sean Mackey at Stanford University. The free, open source, centralized registry will track chronic pain sufferers and their self-reported outcomes over time and the data will be used for outcomes research, comparative effectiveness research, and point of care decision-making. Seven NIH ICs are currently participating in this contract.

Dr. Linda Porter (NINDS) informed everyone that a federal pain portfolio analysis would be conducted to address the goals of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee. She provided an overview of how the research categories were developed as well as the how the projects were to be coded for the portfolio analysis. An internal NIH working group of program and policy staff drafted a list of pain research categories with feedback from a IPRCC working group as well as the full IPRCC committee. Dr. Porter explained that the coding will involve three top tier categorizations followed by expanded second tier categorizations for each pain project. Results from the portfolio analysis will be presented at the next IPRCC meeting scheduled for October 22, 2012.

Dr. John Kusiak (NIDCR) announced the Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions Workshop will be held on August 13-14, 2012 at the NIH Bethesda campus. The workshop is being led by 2 co-chairs (Dr. Elizabeth Unger from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Atlanta and Dr. Dan Clauw from the University of Michigan). The workshop will consist of three sessions with short presentations followed by break-out groups developing research recommendations. Dr. Kusiak noted that NINDS, ORWH, and NICHD are currently involved with the workshop and welcomed participation from other NIH Pain Consortium Institutes.