Advancing clinical research in pain management is a core goal of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®. HEAL supports both new clinical trials and the expansion of existing programs to help establish evidence-based guidelines for treating pain with non-opioid therapies. HEAL also supports research to ensure that safe and effective pain management therapies are available to all patients, including populations experiencing health disparities.
Open Funding Opportunities
The Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program conducts studies to better understand common pain conditions, such as chronic low back pain; improve methods to characterize pain; and develop improved diagnostic and treatment tools for pain. HEAL also supports research to identify, prioritize, and test personalized treatment approaches based on detailed analyses of the nature and cause of back pain in individual patients.
The Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network (ERN) conducts Phase 3 clinical trials designed to evaluate the effectiveness of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies for a broad array of acute and chronic pain conditions.
Pragmatic and Implementation Studies for the Management of Pain to Reduce Opioid Prescribing (PRISM)
The Pragmatic and Implementation Studies for the Management of Pain to Reduce Opioid Prescribing (PRISM) program conducts clinical research to integrate evidence-based pain management interventions for a range of pain conditions (often multimodal strategies) into real-world settings within the U.S. healthcare system.
Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net) conducts early-phase clinical trials testing experimental non-addictive treatments for acute and chronic pain.
The Integrative Management of chronic Pain and OUD for Whole Recovery (IMPOWR) network develops and tests combined interventions for pain and opioid use disorder in specific healthcare system settings. Examples of interventions being tested include psychotherapy, medications for opioid use disorder, exercise, and pain self-management.
The Hemodialysis Opioid Prescription Effort (HOPE) consortium conducts an integrated therapeutic approach for people receiving hemodialysis, who are often prescribed opioids for pain management. The HOPE consortium supports studies to develop and test the combination of various safe and non-addictive treatment approaches in this population.
The Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures program is building a comprehensive data set to help predict which patients will recover from acute pain associated with surgery or injury, and which patients will develop long-lasting chronic pain.
Many patient populations experience health disparities in pain management and access to care, including racial/ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities. The Advancing Health Equity in Pain Management program supports research to develop and test evidence-based interventions to eliminate these disparities at the level of individuals, providers, communities, and systems.
The Discovery and Validation of Biomarkers, Endpoints, and Signatures for Pain Conditions program aims to advance the discovery and rigorous validation of biomarkers for pain research and treatment. Biomarker signatures that reflect human pain physiology have the potential to refine patient selection for participation in clinical trials – to improve efficacy of clinical trials and streamline further clinical development.
Closed Funding Opportunities
Request for Information (RFI) on the NIH Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program
This highly collaborative research program will be composed of mechanistic research centers and technology sites that will conduct translational research and phase 2 clinical trials to deliver an integrated model of back pain and patient-based algorithms to facilitate the identification of treatments tailored to the individual patient.Read more
NIH research program to explore the transition from acute to chronic pain
The National Institutes of Health has launched the Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (A2CPS) program to investigate the biological characteristics underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain.