Mutual Matters

Alert: CDC to upgrade opioid prescribing guidelines

Posted by MagMutual Patient Safety Institute on Apr 28, 2016 1:00:00 PM

shutterstock_104828720.jpgFrom the Desks of:

Georgette Samaritan, RN,BSN, CPHRM and Laura Martinez, BSN, RN, MS, CPHRM, FASHRM,VP Risk and Patient Safety

Earlier this year the CDC released new guidelines for prescribing opioids. If you haven't already, we strongly encourage physicians to examine the CDC’s draft Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016. It is now available on (docket# CDC 2015-0112) for public comment. The opioid prescribing problem has reached epic proportions in the United States.[1]

The new opioid prescribing guidelines are intended to provide recommendations regarding the appropriate prescribing of opioid pain medications to treat chronic pain lasting longer than three months or past the time of normal tissue healing. The guideline is not intended for patients who are in active cancer treatment, palliative care, or end-of-life care, according to the CDC.

The goal is to decrease variations in opioid prescribing practices and ultimately ensure that patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse, or overdose from these powerful drugs.

After a review of the draft, American Medical Association (AMA) Executive Vice President and CEO Dr. James Madara stated, “more evidence must be developed to inform clinical decision-making on the use of non-pharmacologic approaches, and more clinicians need to be trained in their effective use…..providers should initiate opioid therapy at the lowest effective dose, and should offer or arrange evidence-based treatment in combination with behavioral therapies for patients with opioid use disorder”[2].

Read the details: Draft CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain,

Previously Published February 2016

[1] Draft CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016

[2] James L. Madara, MD, Executive VP, CEO; AMA;  Letter to Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Director, CDC

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