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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

Internists Lend Strong Support to Conquering Pain Act of 1999

May 3, 1999

(Washington, DC): The American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine strongly supports the Conquering Pain Act of 1999, announced Harold C. Sox, MD, FACP, immediate past president of the ACP-ASIM, today at a press conference with Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Connie Mack (R-Fla.).

The bill, which was launched today in both the House and Senate, recognizes a federal responsibility to help ensure that patients who suffer from pain receive the best possible care and adopts both a short term and long term approach to pain management.

The measure also holds the health care system accountable for responding to chronically ill patient concerns and improving pain treatment, and coordinates the activities of the federal government to support research on pain.

"Far too many Americans suffer from severe pain," Sox said. "That's why enactment of the Conquering Pain Act is crucial. It explicitly recognizes the federal responsibility to help ensure that patients who suffer from pain receive the best possible care."

Estimates show that over 75% of patients with advanced stages of cancer suffer moderate, severe, or very severe pain. A recent study found that for 50% of conscious patients who died in the hospital, family members reported that the patient was in moderate to severe pain at least half the time.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership comprises more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America and treat more Medicare patients than any other medical specialist.

Contacts

Jack E. Pope, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4556

Note to Editors: A full statement made by ACP-ASIM's Immediate Past President, Dr. Sox, at the May 3 introduction of the Conquering Pain Act of 1999 by Senators Wyden (R-Ore.) and Mack (R-Fla.) can be obtained online at http://www.acponline.org/hpp/painact99.htm.

Page updated: 11-04-03

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