WHY WOULD TELLING MY STORY AND SENDING A LETTER MAKE A DIFFERENCE?  YOUR VOICE MATTERS TO POLICY AND LAW MAKERS.

DOES CHRONIC PAIN AFFECT YOU OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT?

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association and pain patient organizations were recently asked to reach out to people with pain and their families directly to ask about their experiences. People making decisions that significantly affect your quality of life (federal officials, legislators and policy makers) need to know if you are receiving adequate pain management and relief. Telling your story can affect their policy decisions and new areas of research.

There are three ways to tell your story: (1) upload a personal letter on this website, (2) answer questions that will automatically create a letter, or (3) participate in an anonymous survey.  Legislators ask "how does this affect my constituents?" Your address is needed by congressional offices to verify you as their consituent. Being as open as possible in your letter to your legislator will help them understand the impact of living with a chronic pain illnesses.

Your letters will be combined with others and hand-delivered to legislators on bi-monthly intervals. To be effective, we estimate that 10,000 responses are needed to be representative of how chronic pain affects people’s lives in the United States.  Please ask others you know to help in this major initiative.    

Senate Bill 483:  "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015"

Your voice matters, especially this week! Please contact your U.S. Senator now if you live in one of the states listed below where committee members reside. Patients are more frequently unable to get a pain medication prescription for necessary situations like chronic pain, post-surgical pain, after cancer therapies, or for palliative care. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote this Thursday, February 11, 2016, on Senate Bill 483:  "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015."  They need to know we want this Act passed.

Prescription drugs play a crucial role in treating and curing illness, alleviating pain, and improving quality of life for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, these drugs can also be abused. A balance is necessary to ensure that individuals who need prescription drugs for treatment receive them but that such drugs are not diverted for improper purposes.  

How can you help?mouse

1.  Read the following paragraphs.

2.  Click on your state below, and a new Internet broswer window will open.  

3.  Fill out the personal information requested on your Senator's contact page. Suggested topic choice or subject line is noted next to Senator's name below.

4.  Return to this web page and copy the message below to your Senator.

5.  Paste the message into your Senator's comment box, also adding personal comments if you prefer.

6.  Make sure to click the submit button on your Senator's page.

7.  To help us know the effectiveness of our advocacy, please return to this page and click on the comment box below that you contacted your Senator about supporting Senate Bill 483.  

8.  Please consider asking others in your state to also contact your senator(s).

The following language is here for your convenience. Please use this sample message, or very similar language, included with the email to your Senator.  Feel free to copy and paste this into the comments box on the website of your Senator, along with your own personal story in the email as you prefer. If there are two Senators for your state, please send to both of them. 

Dear Senator,

One in three people in our state are affected by life-altering chronic pain. I support current national efforts for safer use and prescribing of prescription opioid medications, but I also need to tell you about the unintended negative consequences these policies cause to 100 million people with chronic pain.  When individuals cannot get necessary care, unmanaged pain harms quality of life, relationships, ability to work and to sleep.  Directly or indirectly, chronic pain touches every member of the community and their families.

[This is how barriers to access affect me and my family ... your story here if you would like to discsuss it.]

Senate Bill 483, "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement" balances both national epidemics of chronic pain and prescription drug abuse.  Please support this bill in its entirety without amendment, as changes may limit its effectiveness in preventing abuse while simultaneously helping those in pain.  Other concerns related to opioid abuse can be more appropriately addressed in separate legislation, such as Senate Bill 524 "Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015."

Sincerely,

 

Dirkson Senate Bldg Aug 2014 350x252

ALABAMA  Senator Jeff Sessions (General Topic: Health)

ARIZONA  Senator Jeff Flake (Topic: Healthcare)

CALIFORNIA  Senator Dianne Feinstein (Issue: Health)

CONNECTICUT  Senator Richard Blumental (Message Topic: Health Care)

DELAWARE  Senator Christopher A. Coons (Subject: Healthcare)

GEORGIA  Senator David Perdue (Topic: Health)

ILLINOIS  Senator Dick Durbin (Option: Health)

IOWA   Senator Chuck Grassley (Subject: S483 Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement)

LOUISIANA  Senator David Vitter (Select an Issue: Health Care)

MINNESOTA  Senator Amy Klobuchar (Subject: S483 Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement)

MINNESOTA  Senator Al Franken (Topic: Health)

NEW YORK  Senator Charles E. Schumer (Option: Opinion on Bills)

NORTH CAROLINA  Senator Thom Tillis (Topic: Health)

RHODE ISLAND  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Subject: S483 Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement)

SOUTH CAROLINA  Senator Lindsay Graham (General Topic:  Health-General, Medicare, Medicaid)

TEXAS  Senator John Cornyn (Discuss an Issue: Healthcare)

TEXAS  Senator Ted Cruz (Topic:  Health Care)

UTAH  Senator Mike Lee (Topic: Healthcare)

UTAH  Senator Orrin Hatch (General Topic: Healthcare)

VERMONT  Senator Patrick Leahy  (Select an Issue: Health/Disease)