Prevalence of Undertreatment of Pain
"Approximately 100 million American adults experience pain from common chronic conditions, and additional millions experience short-term acute pain (Chapter 2). Many people could have better outcomes if they received incrementally better care as part of the treatment of the chronic diseases that are causing their pain. A nationwide health system straining to contain costs will be hard pressed to address the problem, however, unless early savings can be clearly demonstrated through reduced health care utilization and disability and fewer dollars wasted on ineffective treatments. The high prevalence of pain suggests that it is not being adequately treated, and undertreatment generates enormous costs to the system and to the nation’s economy (see Chapter 2)."
Institute of Medicine, "Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research" (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2011), p. 153.