A need to update CDC’S opioid guidelines

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A need to update CDC’S opioid guidelines

Opioids work by binding themselves to opioid receptors present on the surface of various parts of the body. Continuous use of opioid can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, there is a need to improve the way, opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines. To accomplish this, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed and published the guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. These guidelines provide recommendations for opioid pain medicine prescription for patients aged 18 and older in primary care settings.

However, in a survey by PNN among nearly 3,400 pain patients, it was shown that many problems seemed to be uncovered during the guidelines development. The guidelines were intended for primary care doctors, but it is widely used by the whole health care system. Due to which doctors had either reduced or stopped the opioid medication for patients.

Lynn Webster, a leading expert in pain management said: "it was the time for CDC to invite the pain community to help revise the guideline and allow opioids use responsibly". As the agency pledged last year that CDC will revise the guideline as new evidence becomes available, but some critics were doubtful that CDC had any intention to upgrade the guidelines. Many of the critics demanded an involvement of congress to ask the CDC to provide a report on the impact of the opioid prescribing guideline in regard to suitable pain management, quality of care for people in pain, access to insurance coverage of alternative and complementary therapies recommended by the guideline, impact on the number of opioid-related overdoses, change in possible suicide rate with people in pain due to inadequately treated pain etc.

On the other hand, some groups believe that the problem is not in the guidelines, but in the form, it is being executed by practitioners, states, insurers and other federal bureaus like the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS and VA have turned the CDC’s voluntary recommendations into mandatory law that all authorities have to follow. Along with this, CMS also allowed insurance companies to take punitive action against doctors, pharmacists, and patients who don't follow them. Also, the VA strongly prohibited the long-term use of opioids under the age of 30.

Therefore, from all discussion among different societies, it is concluded that there is a need to look again at the CDC opioids guidelines for patient's wellness.


Pain news network

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Original title of article:

Should CDC'S Opioid Guidelines be revised?


Pat Anson

CDC, Opioid, Guidelines
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