Interview Opportunity - Budgeting Pain Treatment in Canada - Too Costly to

TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - As the Federal Budget is tabled today over six million Canadians living with moderate to severe chronic pain are waiting to see what considerations, if any, have been made to effectively research, treat and manage pain in Canada.

Chronic pain significantly impacts the Canadian economy through lost workplace productivity and increases the burden on Canada's healthcare system. A survey of moderate to severe chronic pain sufferers found almost 60 per cent had lost their job, suffered loss of income or had a reduction in responsibilities as a result of their pain.(1) Among those who were still employed, pain significantly affected absenteeism rates, with a mean number of 28.5 lost work days per year.(2)

Despite the problems associated with chronic pain, six-in-ten of those afflicted (62 per cent) report their workplace does not have a wellness program that includes a component about preventing or living with chronic pain according to a recent Chronic Pain in the Workplace survey.(3) Seventy per cent of chronic pain sufferers believe their condition is holding them back in their career, and 87 per cent say their job aggravates their pain.(4)

A National Health Population Survey estimated that chronic pain costs Canadians approximately $14,744 per affected person per year.(5) Estimates place direct health care costs for Canada to be more than $6 billion per year (in year 2000 dollars) for individuals suffering from chronic pain and by 2025, these costs can be expected to rise to more than $10 billion per year.(6) Wait times for treatment at the few publicly funded interdisciplinary pain clinics across Canada often exceed the six month benchmark. Many patients wait up to five years for pain treatment with large areas of Canada having no access to service.(7)

Despite these facts, pain treatment is not a priority with our government. Medical and personal insight into pain treatment needs is available at your convenience:

    Who:   Dr. Mary Lynch - President of the Canadian Pain Society, Director,
           Pain Management Unit, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre,

           Lynn Cooper - steering committee member,
           President of the Canadian Pain Coalition (CPC) and chronic pain

           Dr. Roman Jovey - steering committee member, Past
           President of the Canadian Pain Society (CPS) and a doctor treating
           both chronic pain and addiction problems

About is an awareness and advocacy campaign founded by the Canadian Pain Society, the Canadian Pain Coalition, and the Canadian Pain Foundation. The initiative seeks to promote awareness of the issue of under treated pain in Canada through a long-term, coordinated public awareness campaign with the goal of addressing the vital need to achieve better understanding, prevention and management of all types of pain in Canada.

    (1) Chronic Pain Survey. Nanos Research, sponsored by
    (2) IBID
    (3) Chronic Pain in the Workplace survey. Ipsos Reid, sponsored by
        Janssen-Ortho Inc. October, 2009.
    (4) IBID
    (5) Statistical Report on the Health on Canadians. Health Canada (1999).
    (6) The economics of Chronic Pain. CJ Phillips D Schopflocher (2008). In
        S Rashiq D Schopflocher, P Taenzer E Jonsson (Eds) Chronic Pain: A
        Health Policy Perspective. Weinham, Germany: Wiley-Blackwell.
    (7) Challenges in accessing multidisciplinary treatment facilities in
        Canada. Peng, Chouiniere et al. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.
        December 2007; 54: 963-8.


For further information: For further information: To schedule an interview or for additional information, please contact: Kristina Rikunova, Argyle Communications, (416) 968-7311, ext. 243,

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