In Japan, the attitudes of the public and the medical profession have created problems with regard to the management of pain, especially the use of opioid analgesics. Japan Partners Against Pain (JPAP®) was formed in 2003 by a small group of concerned physicians who wanted to change the attitudes of the medical profession and the general public by providing education and information. JPAP® has grown rapidly from its initial 11 members to over 1,700 members in 2007, almost half of whom are doctors, while most of the remainder are nurses or pharmacists. Under the title of ‘Pain Academy’, JPAP® provides lectures and seminars for the health care professions based on a special slide kit that was developed for education about pain management. JPAP® also provides information and seminars for patients, their families, and the general public, as well as media briefings. It publishes booklets for patients and a quarterly newsletter for members, and runs two popular websites (one for members only and one for the public). Furthermore, JPAP® sets up information booths at conferences on pain management, and has established a special support network for palliative care teams. Over the next 5 years, JPAP® hopes to continue and expand such activities, so that eventually all Japanese realize that pain can, and should, be treated effectively.

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