It has been a busy start to 2021. A few notable activities in the last month included providing evidence to a House of Representatives Parliamentary Inquiry on approval processes for new drugs and devices, working with consumers to provide input to two jurisdictions (NSW and ACT) on the rollout of Real Time Prescription Monitoring and participating in public awareness to support people impacted by the 2020 changes to opioid prescription medicines.
It was also pleasing to hear from the Department of Health that 7 of 8 States and Territories have endorsed the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management and the remaining jurisdiction is intending to sign. This augers well for a national approach to pain management underpinned by evidence based approaches and a roadmap for practical action.
The initial funding investment from the Federal Government included support for the Community Awareness and Education Project (Painaustralia’s website information hub), Take Home Naloxone Campaign, Rural Health Outreach Fund activities and health professional education.
In last month’s issue of enews, Dr Meredith Craigie outlined the work funded by the Australian Government under Goal 3 of the National Action Plan, and being undertaken by the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists to develop a pain management education strategy for Australian health practitioners. This edition includes a guest piece by Professor Helen Slater, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Curtin University, on the work being undertaken by the consortium leading the health professional pain management training program.
Finally, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) released its position on evidence for the use of cannabinoids to treat pain. This report is an important addition to the conversation about the role of medicinal cannabis in pain management. This issue, as expected, has prompted passionate responses from many on our social media channels.
We look forward to welcoming you to our upcoming AGM and Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management meeting in May 2021. Tara Moss will be our guest speaker this year and will no doubt generate a great deal of interest as a consumer and advocate for improved pain management.