Feb 5, 2024 | Press Releases

Nunn Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Support Chronic Pain Research

DES MOINES – U.S. Representatives Zach Nunn (IA-03) and Yadira Caraveo (CO-08) today introduced new legislation to support chronic pain research. The bipartisan Advancing Research for Chronic Pain Act would help clinicians and scientists more effectively research chronic pain conditions affecting millions of Americans.

“Too many Iowans are living with pain that prevents them from completing everyday tasks,” said Rep. Nunn. “This bipartisan legislation will help clinicians develop new treatment options and provide relief to those suffering from chronic pain.”

Approximately 20 percent of adults are living with chronic pain, and 7.4 percent of those individuals have pain that significantly impacts their ability to live and work. The prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain increases with age, which is a growing concern as the American population ages. Despite the prevalence of chronic pain, there is insufficient information in population level data beyond chronic pain prevalence, especially regarding high impact chronic pain.

“As a doctor, I have seen firsthand how limited and unreachable information and data that lets health professionals conduct research on chronic pain is,” said Rep. Caraveo. “Millions of Americans struggle with chronic pain, jeopardizing their ability to live a healthy and active life. On behalf of the many patients with chronic pain conditions, I am proud to introduce the bipartisan Advancing Research for Chronic Pain Act to promote advancements in chronic pain research and support our health professionals with the tools they need to treat their patients.”

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not have a centralized location for distributing chronic pain information and a significant portion of the materials related to chronic pain made publicly available by the CDC have been focused on the use of opioids, which does not capture the needs of the entire chronic pain population. The CDC currently has many pain data sources available, as well as multiple ongoing projects, that could be more transparently disseminated to pain scientists and clinicians to drive further research into better ways to treat chronic pain.

“We applaud Congresswoman Caraveo and Congressman Nunn for introducing the Advancing Research for Chronic Pain Act”, saidCindy Steinberg, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation.  “Despite the enormous disease burden of chronic pain affecting millions of Americans, we lack comprehensive data like we have for other major diseases. There is a tremendous need for high-quality data to better understand the problem of pain and inform interventions to improve care and patient outcomes.”

The Advancing Research for Chronic Pain Act directs the CDC to:

  • Utilize available research data to clarify the prevalence and characteristics of chronic pain;
  • Identify gaps in the available research data and develop standard definitions for population research on chronic pain;
  • Create a centralized Chronic Pain Information Hub to aggregate available data, as well as maintain a summary of complete, ongoing, and planned research; and
  • Develop recommendations for clinicians and scientists.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND). Text of the bill can be found here.