Painaustralia is Australia’s leading pain advocacy body working to improve the quality of life of people living with pain, their families and carers,
and to minimise the social and economic burden of pain on individuals and the community.
Last week Painaustralia gathered together with consumers, politicians, and members of the pain sector on the lawns of the Australian Parliament House in Canberra to ask for better multidisciplinary care so that all people in chronic pain can access the allied health and treatment services they need.
At our event, we asked the Federal Government to provide funding to increase the number of allied health visits to 10 per year.
We want to thank the many politicians who attended and spoke at our event, our sponsors, and most importantly the consumers who shared their stories on the day.
Painaustralia also held a showcase inside Parliament House attended by various politicians and health department officials to demonstrate how multidisciplinary care is carried out.
We want to thank all those who attended and supported us for helping make this such a successful day!
Pain is an issue that impacts more women than men, and young women facing pain and cancer are in a difficult position as both these are seen as older person's conditions. Young women in this situation face tough choices.
Our CEO Giulia Jones is one of these women; she is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Support Giulia and other young women like her when she shaves her head on 31st July 2023.
The funds will support young women with cancer and living with pain.
Painaustralia, the peak body representing those in chronic pain, and So Brave, Australia’s young women’s breast cancer charity will be the recipients.
Click the image to donate.
National Pain Week 2023
This National Pain Week our deputy CEO, Monika Boogs, joined Chronic Pain Australia's Facebook live panel discussion, The State of Pain.
The panelists discussed results from the 2023 National Pain Survey and provided insights into various chronic pain issues. Click the image to watch.
Physiotherapy in Veterans' Care: The evidence is clear
Painaustralia's submission to the Royal Commission found that access to allied health services is an important aspect for Veterans to manage their chronic pain. Australian Physiotherapy Association, who Painaustralia works closely with, has conducted a survey about veterans and physiotherapists and has found that the Department of Veteran Affairs fee schedule is below standard prices for services.
Painaustralia's submission to the HTA Policy & Methods Review
Painaustralia has made its latest submission to the TGA’s Independent Health Technology Assessment Policy and Methods Review Public consultation process.
In our submission we have stressed the need to prioritise consumer input and for consumers to be a central part of the HTA approval process not just be considered at the end.
We strongly urge that a review of the Health Technology Assessment policy consider:
Strengthening the patient and consumer voice in assessing therapies at an early stage in review processes;
The use of new and emerging technologies—including the identification and accommodation of therapeutic advances for the treatment and management of pain that may enter the regulatory or reimbursement systems (or both);
Continuous process improvement to facilitate earlier patient access to therapeutic innovations in a timely, equitable, safe and affordable way; and,
The complexity of pain and the need to utilise cost assessments for base economic evaluations that adopt societal cost-based perspectives to fully account for the costs and benefits of interventions.
The youngest member of our Consumer Advisory Group, Benjamin Nihill, speaks to CEO Giulia Jones about his pain story.
Despite facing a challenging setback in 2020 during his ADF training, when he got diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Ben has demonstrated remarkable resilience and rebuilt his life from the ground up.
His story serves as a testament to the power of determination and the ability to overcome obstacles.
Painaustralia 2022 Annual Report
2022 for Painaustralia saw the appointment of a new CEO Giulia Jones, the appointment of a deputy CEO Monika Boogs and the launch of a bigger and more powerful conversation than ever before about pain and the cost to our community and how it needs to be funded and addressed.
In the wake of proposed restrictions to paracetamol from the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration we also campaigned hard to save paracetamol access for the thousands of people who live with chronic pain and who rely on paracetamol to just get through the day. We told the story of so many who live with chronic pain who have been impacted by the regulatory changes to opioids with a survey of 2000 respondents and we also worked with the NSW Government on a consumer project on the benefits and challenges of the implementation of real time prescription monitoring.
For all the details of our work in 2022 please read our annual report here.
Painaustralia’s latest submission & media release regarding access to paracetamol.
While Painaustralia supports the sensible recommendations from the TGA’s delegate to not upschedule paracetamol, place age restrictions to purchase or to limit the number of packets that can be bought at a supermarket or pharmacy we are disappointed by the proposal to reduce the available pack sizes of paracetamol to Australians living with pain.
If adopted by the TGA’s Medicine Scheduling Committee, this will make it harder to buy paracetamol, particularly for those in chronic pain on low incomes, living rurally or who are already marginalised.
We urge the TGA to reconsider this issue when it makes its final decision in April while accepting the decision not to upschedule paracetamol, place age restrictions to purchase or to limit the number of packets that can be bought at a supermarket or pharmacy.
Please see our latest submission here and our media release here.
Giulia Jones speech to the TGA Medicines Scheduling Committee
Good news for those living with chronic pain! Today, an interim decision was made to keep paracetamol easily accessible without age restrictions or a script. Painaustralia's concerns about limiting access to those who rely on it to manage daily life were heard and we are now encouraging the TGA to stick with this decision in April.
3.4 million Australians live in pain every single day and rely on medications like paracetamol just to get by. The proposed restrictionsto paracetamol use are well intended but missed the mark and will further alienate an already struggling group.
Painaustralia is working to ensure you have the access to the medicines you need without it costing more and causing you more distress to obtain it.
Painaustralia has worked closely with the NSW Government to develop a video to help provide consumers with information about the SafeScript NSW real time prescription program and how it can benefit you. RTPM is a computer system that provides pharmacists and prescribers with medicine history information about a consumer’s use of monitored drugs (for example, diazepam and tramadol). If implemented well this system can help consumers to better use and understand the medications they are taking and encourage conversations between health professionals and consumers. Painaustralia has worked with the NSW Government to develop sensitive and respectful messaging for prescribers and dispensers when talking to consumers about their medications.
Chronic Pain in our Defence & Veteran Personnel
This week Painaustralia lodged its submission to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. Our submission shows that mental illness and chronic pain is a dangerous combination for our defence and veteran personnel, increasing the risk of suicidal behaviours. See our media release here and to read our submission click here.
Painaustralia partnered with Monash University to develop the research used in our submission. Read more here.
Our Latest Media Release
TGA TRYING TO TAKE PARACETAMOL ACCESS AWAY
14 November 2022
The latest attempts by the Federal Government to restrict paracetamol are well-intended but miss the mark and will leave many thousands of low income and rural and remote Australians who need pain medicines, disadvantaged.
Painaustralia, the peak lobby group for the 1 in 5 people suffering from chronic pain, has today released its submission to the TGA regarding proposals to limit access to paracetamol in Australia.
In the submission, Painaustralia states “mental health is not an issue that can be solved with a single regulatory sledgehammer. It needs a nuanced, balanced and practical approach that mitigates unintended consequences and guards against perverse outcomes of regulatory changes to ensure the best healthcare for all, including those living with chronic pain”.
Painaustralia CEO Giulia Jones said “3.4 million Australians live in pain every single day and rely on medications like paracetamol just to get by”.
“Mums trying to take their children to school, young women with chronic pelvic pain, people with early onset arthritis, dads with back pain deserve to be able to buy a fortnight supply of paracetamol on payday,” she said.
“The perverse unintended consequences of the suggested proposals for smaller packs, purchase limits and age restrictions is that those with the least income and the youngest will be hit the hardest, including in remote and rural areas where popping down to the shop is just not possible.”
Ms Jones said less than two years ago the TGA restricted access to slow-release paracetamol to behind the counter at pharmacies and now its review wants people who are safely using this medicine to have to visit the GP for a script, every time they need a pack, increasing cost and distress.
“Instead of making life harder for the thousands of Australians who live with invisible pain every single day, how about the Federal Government look wholistically at the issue of young women who use paracetamol for self-harm and offer them genuine support such as follow-up psychological treatment and counselling,” she said.
“What we need is proper health care for young women. The Minister for Mental Health, Emma McBride, would be excellent at addressing the issue of mental health in young women rather than a regulatory body whose job is to approve medicines and vaccines.”
“The review carried out by the TGA into this issue was conducted without the assistance of consumers who live with constant pain and we urge the Minister for Health to include consumers properly so that solutions to address harm from paracetamol do not further alienate and target an already struggling group.”