SWHR Comments on HHS Task Force Pain Management Draft Report

Policy Engagement

Published 3/19/19

SWHR sent comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force and the particular attention to the specific needs of women in relation to pain management. Women have unique concerns in the areas of chronic pain and pain management: They suffer from chronic pain and disability at increased rates in comparison to men, respond to and process pain in a different manner, and demonstrate lower pain reduction response to opioids. However, biological sex differences are rarely considered in research.

In comments to HHS, SWHR praised the recommendation for increased research examining these sex differences, as well as the task force’s focus on the unique challenges faced by women experiencing pain during pregnancy. SWHR also called for specific recognition of stigma issues specific to women dealing with chronic pain and encouraged increased funding of pain-related research supporting inclusion of women across basic science, translational, and clinical studies.