Responding to the escalation in opioid overdose deaths in their respective states, members of the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Health and Human Services Committee have drafted a proposal for revised pain treatment protocols for healthcare providers. The proposal includes tougher control over opioid prescribing as well as requirements for better prescriber education especially in the arena of risk management and addiction. But when the NGA brought the draft proposal before the White House at their annual winter meeting earlier this week, President Obama gave voice to the other side of the argument, raising concern for the welfare of patients with chronic noncancer pain. “If we go to doctors right now and say ‘Don’t overprescribe’ without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have, then we’re not going to solve the problem, because the pain is real,” the President observed.
The proceedings at the NGA-White House winter meeting were reported in a news story headlining a series on the opioid abuse and overdose epidemic that has been complied and posted on Yahoo News. The series offers perspective on the roots and demographics of the crisis; on challenges of risk assessment; on buprenorphine and naloxone medications as responses to the issue; among other topics. Much of the information will be familiar to PAINWeek News readers.
Read more about opioid prescribing, here.
A link to the series of commentary and information may be found here.