Physician Practice

Opioids: CDC clarifies prescribing guidelines

Medical Environment Update, July 1, 2019

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Doctors and drug czars ask for chronic pain guidelines to be relaxed

By Brian Ward

In a letter released April 10, the CDC clarified its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, stating that they weren’t meant to be unduly restrictive for chronic pain patients. The letter came in response to repeated concerns from healthcare societies, providers, and experts.

The clarification says that physicians are encouraged to use their best judgment when prescribing opioids. In addition, the guideline is not meant to deny appropriate opioid therapy to anyone suffering from conditions such as cancer and sickle cell disease.

“The Guideline is not intended to deny any patients who suffer with chronic pain from opioid therapy as an option for pain management,” wrote CDC Chief Medical Officer Deborah Dowell, MD, MPH. “Rather, the Guideline is intended to ensure that clinicians and patients consider all safe and effective treatment options for patients.”

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