This February will witness the eleventh anniversary of “Headache on the Hill” (HOH), the highly acclaimed annual advocacy event, sponsored by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA), designed to draw attention to the need for increased funding for research into migraine disease, pain and other headache disorders.
In 2017, AHDA advocated to include NIH pain research as a component of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). CARA, signed into law in July 2016, has yet to be funded. Since the goal of this legislation is to address the opioid crisis, a new bill The Opioids and STOP Pain Initiatives Act (H.R.4722 / S.2260) has been introduced to fund CARA.
On February 12 and 13, 150 HOH delegates from all across the country, representing 41 States, will convene at the Capitol, in Washington, DC. The job of these delegates will be to make 140 visits to the House of Representatives, and 82 visits to the Senate. Patients, family members, supporters, nonprofit organization advocates, and professional clinicians will meet with their Senators and Representatives and argue for passage of The Opioids and STOP Pain Initiatives Act.
NIH funding for all research on headache disorders ($25M) was < 0.08% of the 2015 NIH budget The budgetary picture has improved, but not by much. The HOH strategy is to explain that headache research addresses fundamental questions about pain.
At $600 Billion per year “pain” is the single most costly U.S. health problem, and comprises 3.5% of our GNP. A reduction in pain costs by just 1% could save $6 Billion annually.
100 million people suffer from crippling, chronic pain in the United States alone. That is approximately 25% of the entire population. Embedded in that number are 36 Million migraineurs, both episodic and chronic whose pain is also significant. Solving this problem would be nothing short of a medical miracle, but it can be done. Societal priorities have to shift.
We can all play an important role in this process. We strongly suggest contacting your representatives in Congress and stating your solid support for The Opioids and STOP Pain Initiatives Act (H.R.4722 /S.2260).
Your Congressional Delegation will listen to you. This is so much a win-win situation.
Here is the link:
Contact your members of Congress to make your voice heard.
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