February 02, 2016
CDC Board Recommends Minor Modifications to Opioid Prescribing Guideline
The Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC), a federal advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), met Thursday, January 28, 2016 to discuss the draft CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (Guideline) and a report by the Opioid Guideline Workgroup. At the close of the meeting, the BSC voted on the observations made by the Workgroup and suggested relatively minor changes to CDC’s Guideline.
Specifically, the BSC voted unanimously: to support the observations made by the Opioid Guideline Workgroup; that CDC adopt the guideline recommendations that, according to the workgroup’s observations, had unanimous or majority support; and that CDC further consider the Guideline recommendations for which the workgroup had mixed opinions.
At a previous meeting of the BSC, just weeks before, the BSC formed the Opioid Guideline Workgroup to review the draft Guideline and comments received during the Federal Register public comment period. At Thursday’s meeting, the Workgroup presented observations from its report to the BSC and discussed points of agreement and disagreement of the Guideline. The Workgroup observations included support for integrated care for people with chronic pain and monitoring of the Guideline implementation for evidence for impact and unintended consequences and modification when warranted. General concern was expressed about the risks and benefits associated with opioid use and the areas of active research; the Workgroup encouraged CDC to work with partners to support additional research. The Workgroup also expressed concern about cost and access to alternative pain therapies and whether they are covered by insurance, again encouraging the CDC to work with federal partners to support congruent payment policies.
During the public comment period, Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, Vice Chair of the Committee on Pain Medicine, spoke on behalf of ASA, thanking the CDC for working to address the opioid overdose epidemic and presenting key points from ASA’s formal comment letter to CDC.
CDC will consider the BSC’s recommendations, along with the public comments, and hopes to issue the final Guideline in the coming months. ASA will continue to monitor the development of this Guideline.
Learn more about what the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIP) is doing to combat prescription drug abuse
CDC Resources on Draft Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain