News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

New Parliamentary group to advance pain management in light of recent PBS changes

Health Industry Hub | July 29, 2020 |
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Pharma News: Painaustralia announced the establishment of the new Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management group of the Federal Parliament.

Painaustralia Chairman Professor Ian Chubb welcomed the new group “This is a clear indication that federal parliamentarians understand the significant impact that chronic pain has on our community.  It is wonderful to see the strong bi-partisan support and I would like to thank each and every one of the members of this group for their enthusiastic response to the invitation. This group and its members will promote more discussion in the halls of parliament about practical solutions to addressing the needs of the 3.37 million Australians living with pain.  I am optimistic we will see great progress on this front.”

The Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group will be co-chaired by The Hon David Smith MP and Senator Wendy Askew.

Painaustralia’s CEO, Carol Bennett said “With the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic together with recent changes to availability of pain medications, people living with chronic pain are doing it tough.  It is important that some of our community’s most disadvantaged people are placed at the centre of national health discussion and we are in a position as a nation to provide national leadership to this major health challenge.”.

New and emerging evidence continues to highlight the significant potential for an increase in chronic pain after the COVID-19 pandemic. “Nearly 70% of people living with chronic pain are of working age and almost 50% also live with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. This condition exacts an enormous toll,” Ms Bennett said.

“We know that if our policy framework to treat pain doesn’t change, then the annual cost of pain in Australia will rise from $140 billion to over $215 billion by 2050. Importantly, this modelling by Deloitte Access Economics was done before we factored in the additional impost of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Bennett said.

Painaustralia was funded by the Australian Government to develop the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management which was launched in 2019.  The Plan outlines the key actions that Australia should take to tackle chronic pain.   It is currently before Australia’s health ministers for approval.

“I am confident that the political leadership of this group will make a difference in the lives of millions of Australians living with chronic pain, their families and carers and the communities they contribute to. Painaustralia thanks our co-chairs and each of the parliamentarians who have signed up to support a strategic national approach to managing chronic pain,” Ms Bennett said.


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