CDC: Opioid Guidelines ‘Not a Rule, Regulation or Law’ – PainNewsNetwork.org | July 19, 2016 | By Pat Anson, Editor
It’s no secret in the pain community that many patients are being taken off opioid pain medication or weaned to lower doses because of an overzealous reaction by doctors to the CDC’s opioid prescribing guidelines.
Those guidelines – which discourage opioid prescribing for chronic pain — are meant to be voluntary and are intended only for primary care physicians. Yet they are having a chilling effect on many doctors and their patients.
… letter was from Debra Houry, MD, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention, which oversaw the guidelines’ development.
In her letter, Houry appears to acknowledge that the guidelines are being too widely implemented by doctors.
“The Guideline is a set of voluntary recommendations intended to guide primary care providers as they work in consultation with their patients to address chronic pain,” wrote Houry.
“Specifically, the Guideline includes a recommendation to taper or reduce dosage only when patient harm outweighs patient benefit of opioid therapy.
The Guideline is not a rule, regulation, or law. It is not intended to deny access to opioid pain medication as an option for pain management. It is not intended to take away physician discretion and decision-making.”
To see Houry’s letter in its entirety, click here.
For more details and to read the rest of this story, click here.