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CDC Authors Warn: The Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Are Misinterpreted

Sunday 2 June 2019


From ProHealth:


Pills and people

CDC Authors Warn: The Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Are Misinterpreted

Authors of the CDC guidelines say some state laws may be going too far

By Karen Lee Richards
May 31, 2019
Copyright © 2019 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved.

Amidst growing concerns about the opioid epidemic, in 2016 the CDC released its “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.” The stated purpose of the guideline was to “provide recommendations about opioid prescribing for primary care clinicians treating adult patients with chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.”(1)

With the new guidelines in hand, federal agencies, state governments, insurers and many doctors rushed to implement the recommendations as quickly as possible. The problem is that too often the guidelines were misinterpreted and misapplied.

CDC Guideline Authors Say Many Opioid Prescribing Laws Go Too Far

In a perspective article published in The New England Journal of Medicine on April 24, 2019, the authors of the 2016 CDC guidelines said, “Unfortunately, some policies and practices purportedly derived from the guideline have in fact been inconsistent with, and often go beyond, its recommendations.”(2)

A consensus panel report, published in the April 2019 issue of Pain Medicine also highlights the inconsistencies noted by the guideline authors.(3) Two of the inconsistencies are particularly alarming––and even dangerous.


Full article…



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