NATICK, Mass., June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boston Scientific Corporation today welcomed progress on a number of pieces of legislation that will help service veterans and the active armed forces better manage the challenges of chronic pain. The U.S. Senate has recently passed the Veterans Mental Health Improvements Act, which includes provisions of the Veterans Pain Care Act (S. 2160), originally introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI). The bill calls for the establishment of a pain care initiative in the health care facilities of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition, last month the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which included passage of the Military Pain Care Act of 2008 (HR 5465). This pain care provision, originally introduced by Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), would require the Department of Defense to implement a pain care initiative in all military health care facilities.
"These bills will advance the cause for all pain patients by focusing much needed attention on our active military and our veterans about the seriousness of chronic pain," said Scott M. Fishman, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine Chief, Division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of California, Davis. "As a pain physician, I applaud Congress for recognizing the gravity of this issue. Pain is a complex medical condition that can affect the physical and mental well being of millions of patients."
"We congratulate members of the House and Senate for these important steps in advancing public awareness and understanding of chronic pain management," said Michael Onuscheck, President of Boston Scientific's Neuromodulation Division. "The accredited pain physicians with whom we work have witnessed the devastating impact chronic pain can have on the people who serve our country. We are hopeful that should these bills become law, they will help expand and improve the quality of care for our active service personnel and our veterans in their battle against chronic pain."
An additional pain care bill, the National Pain Care Policy Act (HR 2994), introduced in the House by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), complements these efforts to address pain for our service members and veterans by calling for greater examination of pain management in the healthcare system as a whole. Rep. Capps' bill will help evaluate how acute and chronic pain are diagnosed, treated and managed in America, and help improve education, research and awareness of chronic pain to physicians and pain sufferers throughout the country.
"Boston Scientific will continue to work closely with Congressional leaders and others to promote this legislation," added Onuscheck. "We take our leadership responsibilities in this industry seriously and believe that improving the care for pain patients benefits all of us. Now that the House and Senate have moved to address the serious needs of our active military and veterans, we are hopeful that the National Pain Care Policy Act will be passed sometime this year."
Chronic pain presents a major challenge to the U.S. healthcare system. With an estimated 75 million Americans affected by chronic pain, the cost to the public in terms of health care, lost productivity and litigation is estimated at $100 billion every year. The psychosocial effects of chronic pain can result in job loss, depression, fear, anxiety, isolation, sleep disorders and marital and family dysfunction.
About Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. For more information, please visit: www.bostonscientific.com.
About Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Boston Scientific Neuromodulation is an innovation leader in implantable pain management technology. The use of pulses of electricity delivered directly to the nerves, known as Spinal Cord Stimulation, has been in use for more than 30 years without the unwanted side effects and long-term costs associated with pain medications and invasive surgical procedures such as spinal fusion. Spinal Cord Stimulation is a reversible therapy that has helped thousand of people find relief from chronic pain.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words like "anticipate," "expect," "project," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "intend" and similar words. These forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and estimates using information available to us at the time and are not intended to be guarantees of future events or performance. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding our product performance, regulatory approval of our products, our growth strategy, and our market position. If our underlying assumptions turn out to be incorrect, or if certain risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements. These factors, in some cases, have affected and in the future (together with other factors) could affect our ability to implement our business strategy and may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the statements expressed in this press release. As a result, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of our forward-looking statements.
Factors that may cause such differences include, among other things: future economic, competitive, reimbursement and regulatory conditions; new product introductions; demographic trends; intellectual property; litigation; financial market conditions; and, future business decisions made by us and our competitors. All of these factors are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of them are beyond our control. For a further list and description of these and other important risks and uncertainties that may affect our future operations, see Part I, Item 1A- Risk Factors in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which we may update in Part II, Item 1A - Risk Factors in Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q we have filed or will file thereafter. We disclaim any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward- looking statements to reflect any change in our expectations or in events, conditions, or circumstances on which those expectations may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. This cautionary statement is applicable to all forward-looking statements contained in this document.
CONTACT: Media Relations: Paul Donovan, +1-508-650-8541, Mobile:
+1-508-667-5165, or Investor Relations: Larry Neumann, +1-508-650-8696,
both of Boston Scientific Corporation
Web site: http://www.bostonscientific.com/