CDC Chronic Pain Guidelines: Not so bad, but...

by Tom QuinnIn case you didn’t notice, the US Centers for Disease Control published their long-awaited (dreaded?) “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.” It made a pretty big splash: Five editorials plus the full Guideline in the online Mar 15 JAMA, front page New York Times feature article, the first hour on NPR’s “Diane Rehm Show,” (Mar 17) and multiple others. It is specifically aimed at primary care prescribers, who write about half of the scripts for opioids in the US. It is intended to “support clinicians caring for patients outside the context of active cancer care or palliative or end-of-life care.” The Guideline was published in the Mar 15 Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report and is the first US Government guideline to address treatment of chronic pain; it is 52 pages long. A good “Cliff Notes” version of the Guideline is the JAMA piece by CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD and Debra Houry, MD. I should point out that the document was prepared by the CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. The Guideline is intended to address the epidemic of opioid-related deaths, not the pandemic of chronic pain. On its face, the Guideline promotes good, standard prescribing practices, especially for potentially high-risk agents: history and diagnosis of the painful disorder, prognosis of the painful state, history of prior interventions, establishing clear treatment goals, careful selectio...
Source: Pallimed: A Hospice and Palliative Medicine Blog - Category: Palliative Care Tags: CDC ethics opioids pain quinn The profession Source Type: blogs

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