Attorney General Fox Signs on as Supporter of Proposed CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

Attorney General Fox Signs on as Supporter of Proposed CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

Attorney General Tim Fox has announced his support for proposed national guidelines that aim to help medical providers in their treatment of patients presenting with chronic pain, while reducing prescription drug addiction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 Draft Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain is a document that outlines 12 recommended things medical providers do or consider in three different areas of potential opioid use. These areas are:

1. Determining when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain;
2. Opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation; and
3. Assessing risk and addressing harms of opioid use.

Attorney General Fox and 35 other state Attorneys General urged the CDC to adopt the proposed prescribing guidelines in a letter of support for the guidelines sent from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) January 13.
“The recommendations set forth in the CDC Guideline offer evidence-based, practical actions medical providers should take while interacting with their chronic pain patients in order to provide a standard of care that focuses on patient safety, improvement of quality of life, and prevention of opioid use disorder, or addiction, first and foremost,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Other themes that run throughout the recommendations include doctor and patient co-responsibility, an understanding of achievable results, and the utilization of nonpharmacologic and nonopioid pharmacologic therapies as appropriate.”

The guidelines also address the need for an individualized approach to treatment for each patient, while utilizing a standard of best practices to minimize the patient’s risk of developing prescription drug addiction. That is why the letter from NAAG emphasizes the importance of viewing the 12 recommendations as guidelines, and not absolutes to be followed exactly in every treatment situation. The letter can be found here: https://dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/CDC-Guidelines-for-Prescribing-Opiates-Letter-Final.pdf

The NAAG letter was submitted to the CDC as part of the public comment about the proposed guidelines. The public comment period is now closed; the CDC will review all comments before deciding whether or not to finalize the proposed Guidelines. No timeline has been announced on the finalization process.

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