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Osteoarthritis and Chronic Pain

What is Osteoarthritis and Chronic Pain?

More than 100 million people are living with some form of chronic pain in the United States according to the Institute of Medicine. A large percentage of that suffering population, twenty-seven percent, is a result of Osteoarthritis, a debilitating and painful joint disease that occurs when cartilage between the joints breaks down. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but most commonly occurs in the knees, hips, lower back, and neck. The management of osteoarthritis and chronic pain is complex. Providing appropriate pain management resources for the millions of Americans with osteoarthritis and chronic pain conditions will help them manage their pain and improve function, so they can successfully navigate daily activities and lead productive lives. The APhA Foundation identified a need to explore innovations related to osteoarthritis and chronic pain management.


The APhA Foundation recognizes that innovation is the key to breakthrough thinking that leads to dramatic system improvements. The APhA Foundation continuously searches for and evaluates the next innovation that will improve people’s health through pharmacists’ patient care services. The APhA Foundation has convened and collaborated with top thought leaders to discuss future practice innovation and created practice resources for numerous topics. From these discussions, ideas for new tools and innovative practice models have been successfully developed and implemented. The APhA Foundation identified a need to explore innovations related to osteoarthritis and chronic pain management. The quality of life and economic implications of osteoarthritis are sobering; with ambulatory care visits, surgical procedures, and hospital costs accounting for over $42.2 billion annually.



Expert Panel

Based on the current landscape of osteoarthritis and chronic pain management, the APhA Foundation believed it was important to convene an expert panel of top thought leaders to discuss the current issues associated with osteoarthritis and chronic pain management and identify innovative solutions that could be fundamental to transforming how osteoarthritis and chronic pain are managed in our health care system. During the expert panel discussion, each stakeholder had the opportunity to describe the successes and challenges they had experienced in their practice settings related to osteoarthritis and chronic pain management. 


Helping people with pain conditions effectively manage their pain and improve function so they can successfully navigate daily activities and lead productive lives is the ultimate goal and driving force for gathering a panel of experts to discuss how to create a preferred future in the management of osteoarthritis and chronic pain.

The Results

The discussion among the expert panel revealed six key principles that could lead to effective health care system changes and improve care for patients with osteoarthritis and chronic pain. The key principles are:

  1. Improve the climate surrounding pain management
  2. Maximize access to care
  3. Provide support for caregivers
  4. Advocate for sustainable system changes
  5. Collaborate and coordinate team-based care
  6. Tailor the care plan to meet the needs of the individual 



Expert Panel Participants




Ben Bluml

Senior Vice President, Research and Innovation

APhA Foundation

Kelly Brock

Research Community Coordinator

APhA Foundation

Anne Burns

Vice President, Professional Affairs


Laura Cole

Manager of Care Transitions

South Carolina Hospital Association

Penney Cowan

Founder, CEO

American Chronic Pain Association

Scott Hamstra

Captain (Ret)

United States Public Health Service

Elizabeth Keyes

Chief Operating Officer/Executive Director

APhA/APhA Foundation

Joan Knapp

Founder, CEO

Knapp and Associates International

Lenora Knapp


Knapp and Associates International

Sandra Leal

Vice President for Innovation


Jaime McDermott

Manager, Pharmacy DEA Compliance

The Kroger Co.

Theodore Pikoulas

Associate Director of Behavioral Health Pharmacy Programs

Community Care of North Carolina

Daniel Pinto

Assistant Professor

Northwestern University/ Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine

Drew Register

Executive Resident

APhA Foundation

Steve Simenson

CEO/Managing Partner

Goodrich Pharmacy, INC

Alexandria Skoufalos

Associate Dean, Strategic Development/Executive Director, Center for Population Health Innovation

Jefferson College of Population Health

Parisa Vatanka

Associate Director Corporate Alliances/Project Development Manager

APhA/APhA Foundation

Mercury Williams




The Participants

The invited participants were chosen based on their expertise in osteoarthritis and chronic pain, organizational affiliation, or experiences they had that would add value to the expert panel discussion. The interdisciplinary group of experts convened in June 2016, in Washington, DC,


White Paper

Read the APhA Foundation's Expert Panel on Osteoarthritis and Chronic Pain. This white paper summarizes the innovative thinking of experts and outlines six key principles for change that could lead to effective health care system changes. By implementing the key principles for effective change, we can create a preferred future and improve the care for patients with osteoarthritis and chronic pain.