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Study shows major pain research funding decline at NIH
Date:12/11/2008

GLENVIEW, IL, Dec. 11, 2008 Federal funding for pain research is declining sharply, more than 9 percent a year since 2003, according to a new study published in The Journal of Pain. Pain research, as a result, now accounts for only 0.6 percent of all grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), despite the high prevalence of chronic pain in the U.S.

"This startling finding shows the government's meager investment in pain research is seriously out of proportion with the widespread chronic pain incidence in our society, which is estimated at one in four Americans and accounts for more than 20 percent of all physician office visits," said Charles E. Inturrisi, president of the American Pain Society and professor of pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York. "And this disparity is not attributable to years of budget cuts at NIH because the Journal of Pain study clearly shows pain research has a higher percentage decline than the overall NIH budget. So the drop in agency funding has not affected all research areas equally."

University of Utah researchers led by David H. Bradshaw, PhD of the university's pain research center, analyzed data about NIH grant awards from 2003 through 2007 for pain and compared pain research funding with dollars allocated for nausea and dyspnea, a breathing disorder. A previous study authored by Bradshaw, also published in The Journal of Pain in 2005, found that less than one percent of all NIH funding in 2003 was for research having a primary emphasis on pain. The current study shows that five years later pain research is still a low priority at NIH.

Noting that overall budget pressures in Washington have led to an unprecedented recession in funding for biomedical research, the authors said: "With decreased funding for research and continuing needs for resources to support national security and military efforts, major natural disasters and uncertain e
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Contact: Chuck Weber
cpweber@weberpr.com
847-705-1802
American Pain Society
Source:Eurekalert

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