June 18, 2020
ASA Provides Input to CDC on Physician Experience Managing Pain, Urges Agency to Update and Revise 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
On June 16, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) sent a formal communication to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the agency’s request for comments regarding perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management.
In the formal letter, ASA detailed the expertise of physician anesthesiologists in managing and treating patients with acute or chronic pain. ASA conveyed support for recommendations that the CDC update and expand the 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and encouraged the agency to revisit priorities frequently to improve the quality of pain care for patients. ASA continues to believe the Guideline has been misapplied in many settings and is concerned about the negative impact such a broad policy is having on patient care; patients have suffered the consequences.
ASA believes there are various options for treating pain and individualized care should drive the decision for which treatments are most appropriate. Therefore, the formal letter outlined barriers that impact both the practice and delivery of effective, high quality, evidence-based pain care and offered recommendations to these barriers. ASA also emphasized the importance of non-opioid treatments and urged CDC to include recommendations on these options in future guidance.
ASA was involved in the development of the 2016 Guideline, supporting its use as guidance for primary care providers. Recognizing the Guideline’s significant misinterpretation and misapplication, ASA sent a formal communication to the CDC in August 2019 to recommend the Guideline be reviewed and revised to both clarify the intent of the Guideline and include the most up-to-date scientific evidence available.
ASA looks forward to continuing working with the CDC to ensure an updated and revised Guideline is best for patient care and appropriate for physician practices.