president's message

November is Election Month!!

Dr. Kost-ByerlyBy Sabine Kost-Byerly, MD
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

No Controversies here: Election of New SPPM Leaders!
The arrival of this newsletter coincides with the call to elections of the next SPPM Executive Committee and Directors-at-Large.  I strongly encourage all SPPM members to participate in this election of our new leaders.  The nominations committee members, Anjana Kundu, Rita Agarwal, Chuck Berde, Karen Boretzky, Anne Lynn, Lynne Maxwell and I, after the pleasure of reviewing the bios of many talented and dedicated nominees, had the challenging task of selecting a slate of candidates for approval of the SPPM Board.  The candidates are highly motivated and dedicated individuals, deeply involved in the provision of care to children in pain.  They have demonstrated their commitment to innovation and education in the field and to serving the Society. Please review the bios of each of these members included in this edition of the newsletter.  Please consider the impact and importance of your vote. New approaches, variable experiences and backgrounds enrich the society and help us to serve you better.

Exercising the authority to vote for new board members to represent you is the right of every active and international member of the society (Make sure your dues remain up to date!).  Although a high elector turnout is always desirable, we like to have more than passive voters. Join a committee, volunteer to write a piece for the newsletter, or provide liaison to other like-minded organizations.  Fringe benefit: active involvement in the society and dedication to improving the care of children beyond one’s own backyard is the surest way to a nomination in a future election cycle.  

The electronic voting site will open on November 15, 2016 and will remain open until December 16, 2016. The names of the elected directors will be announced at the annual meeting in Austin on March 2, 2017 and in the spring issue of the newsletter.

September FDA meeting on opioid use in children
On September 15 and 16, 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), guided by meeting chair Raeford E. Brown Jr, MD, professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, held a two-day joint advisory committee meeting addressing multiple aspects of current opioid use in children. The meeting followed the recent passage of the Comprehensive Addiction And Recovery Act (CARA). Experts in pediatric pain management, addiction, child and adolescent medicine, and pharmacology provided information for members of the Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products, Drug Safety and Risk Management, and Pediatric Advisory Committees. Click HERE to review the briefing document.

In addition, public opinions could be placed into the meeting docket and orally presented to the committees. SPPM, SPA, ASRA and the ASA combined forces drafting an advocacy document for the docket and the oral comments presented by Dr. Shobha Malviya, SPA President, at the meeting.  The document stressed the importance of continued access to opioids for children with painful conditions, the need for more research, as well as appropriate education of families and providers to decrease misuse of opioids.  At the meeting the participants reviewed many complex issues, including the long-term consequences of inadequate analgesia for pain experienced in childhood, the scarcity of higher-level evidence to define best practice and guide opioid management in children, furthermore, the difficulties in enrolling children in opioid-related trials, additionally, adolescent brain-development and the risk of misuse of mind-altering drugs, and finally, the easy availability of prescription opioids in children and adolescents’ home environment due to unsafe use, storage and disposal.  SPPM will follow the discussions closely and provide updates to its members as they become available. SPPM will also continue to work with other like-minded groups to advocate for children with painful conditions.  Primum non nocere or better yet beneficence, the welfare of the child, should guide us.

Sabine Kost-Byerly, MD
[email protected]

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