Chronic pain is a serious and costly public health issue in the United States and remains largely undertreated. Pain management requires an understanding of how chronic pain manifests and the treatment options that are available to health care practitioners. The standard of care in treating chronic pain includes the judicious use of opioids and necessitates the development of realistic strategies to prevent their misuse. Pharmacists can play an important role in improving patient outcomes by collaborating with prescribers and patients to ensure that pharmacologic treatment is optimized and that patients receive education on the proper use of opioid analgesics.
This supplement is based on a satellite symposium held at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 2006 Education Conference in Chicago. The authors, who are considered leaders in the field of pain management, present thought-provoking articles on the optimal management of patients with chronic pain and the necessity to address this costly and highly prevalent disorder.