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First study of Australia's high cost of pain reveals $34 billion price tag
Date:11/18/2007

found that:

  • 3.2 million people are living with pain and more women than men are affected
  • Productivity loss is $11.7 billion annually, or 34 per cent of total pain-related costs
  • The burden of disease accounts for a further third at $11.5 billion
  • Health system costs account for $7 billion, around 20 per cent of total pain-related costs

Professor Cousins said the study should prompt more action to prevent pain from going under-treated or untreated at all so that its economic cost can be reduced.

It is now possible to manage persistent pain in 70-80 per cent of patients yet fewer than 10 per cent actually obtain pain relief, said Professor Cousins.

Providing resources to deliver proper pain treatment has the potential to save Federal and State Governments enormous amounts of public funds. At least 50 per cent of patients who have access to effective treatment can return to a reasonable lifestyle, offering savings on hospital and doctor visits, x-rays, surgery and medications, not to mention improved productivity.

Dr Bennett said the landmark study would put pain on the health agenda. The MBF Foundation would be pursuing the next positive steps towards improving the lives of Australians living with chronic pain. These include:

  • Developing a coordinated National Plan for Pain;
  • Replacing ineffective stand alone therapies with effective multidisciplinary approaches, and
  • Providing education and awareness for health providers particularly in primary care


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Contact: Jackie Crossman
61-293-610-519
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

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