Letter from the IASP President
Dear IASP members and supporters,
I am pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Global Year Against Neuropathic Pain campaign, which will launch on Monday, October 20, 2014. Neuropathic pain is pain that arises as a direct consequence of a lesion or diseases affecting the somatosensory system. Despite the availability of many effective drugs and guidelines for the treatment of neuropathic pain, evidence from the United States and Europe suggests that they are not widely used, and many cases remain under- or untreated. Our goal through the global year campaign is to raise awareness of issues surrounding neuropathic pain.
Monday’s launch includes a press release, a series of fact sheets examining the many aspects of neuropathic pain, and other resources for you to learn more about this important form of pain. Many are available to download free of charge.
Srinivasa Raja, MD and Maija Haanpää, MD co-chaired efforts of the IASP Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain, to lead an international IASP task force to plan this year’s campaign and author the fact sheets. These initial fact sheets are available to download free, and are available in five World Health Organization (WHO) languages (English, French, Spanish, simple Chinese, and Arabic). Later in the year, IASP will post additional fact sheets and translations, as well as announcements of events and meetings that are planned on the neuropathic pain theme. In addition, there will special editions of Pain: Clinical Updates focusing on neuropathic pain and the journal PAIN will tag all neuropathic pain articles so you can easily find them. We encourage you to join the campaign in a variety of ways:
- Disseminate information on neuropathic pain throughout the world.
- Educate pain researchers and clinicians in your region, as well as the larger global community of health care professionals who interact with patients.
- Increase awareness of neuropathic pain among government officials, media, and the general public worldwide.
- Encourage government leaders, research institutions, and other key decision-makers to support more research, ultimately producing more effective and accessible treatment methods and outcomes for those who suffer from neuropathic pain.
Throughout the one-year campaign, IASP members and chapters will organize meetings, symposia, patient-education events, publications, and many other efforts exploring different aspects of neuropathic pain. IASP will post stories about these efforts on the IASP website at www.iasp-pain.org/GlobalYear/NeuropathicPain and emailed to all IASP members and those who join our Global Year mailing list.
I encourage you to get involved in activities and events that relate to the Global Year. Whether you help to plan and organize an event, deliver a talk related to neuropathic pain, or attend a meeting to show your support, I thank you in advance for helping to increase understanding of neuropathic pain around the globe. Please contact your local IASP chapter, or the IASP secretariat office at IASPdesk@iasp-pain.org, for more information. We look forward to your active involvement in this important advocacy campaign.
I count on your help and involvement in promoting treatment for this most common form of pain that is insufficiently recognized and poorly treated. Get involved in your local institution to draw attention to this unmet medical need. Millions of pain sufferers throughout the world will benefit from our joint effort. They need our passion and our commitment.
Rolf-Detlef Treede, Dr med