April 11, 2022
ASA Responds to Proposed 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids
On April 7, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) submitted formal comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offering support for the proposed 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids while expressing concern over some shortcomings of the Guideline.
In the communication to CDC, ASA applauded the added clarity for physicians and other health care professionals with the scope of the updated Guideline and the clear stipulations that it does not replace clinical judgement, is not intended to be an inflexible standard of care, and does not dictate clinical practice or substitute FDA-approved labeling.
ASA expressed concern over some key issues, however. Firstly, deference should be made to professional medical society guidelines and standards of care for surgical procedures. ASA also noted a failure of the Guideline to acknowledge the efficacy of interventional treatments for chronic pain. ASA recommended that the Guideline include discussion on these options and be given the same individual attention as other treatments mentioned. Furthermore, the importance of patient monitoring for those prescribed opioids is omitted from the Guideline and should be discussed. Finally, ASA stressed that acknowledgement is needed regarding Opioid Patient Prescriber Agreements and that naloxone should be offered to any individual with an opioid prescription AND their family/household, regardless of morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per day.
ASA commends the CDC for updating the 2016 Guideline and looks forward to continuing to work with the agency to ensure important issues are not left out of the updated Guideline to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients.