PHARMACY

CDC to issue draft guideline on opioid prescribing

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and prevention this week announced that a new draft guideline for prescribing opioids to patients with chronic pain was in the works. The move comes in the middle of Pain Awareness month, and amid increases in the amount of opioids prescribed despite a consistency in the amount of pain reported by patients, as well as the 16,000 deaths in 2013 that were caused by opioid overdoses.

“The purpose of the CDC guideline is to provide recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings,” the CDC said. “Recommendations focus on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (i.e., pain lasting longer than 3 months or past the time of normal tissue healing) outside end-of-life care.”

The guideline will include information for providers on how to determine whether a patient needs opioid therapy, which opioids and dosages to use when opioid therapy is needed and risk assessment and monitoring guidance. 

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