At its annual meeting earlier this month, the National Association of State Controlled Substances Authorities (NASCSA) formally endorsed the Federation of State Medical Boards’ (FSMB) newly revised "Model Policy on the Use of Opioid Analgesics in the Treatment of Chronic Pain" by unanimous vote. FSMB policy is intended as a resource for use by state medical boards in educating their licensees about cautious and responsible prescribing of controlled substances, while providing guidelines to help avoid the overtreatment or under-treatment of patients with pain.
Representing an update to its Model Policy of 2004, the new policy acknowledges that evidence for the risks associated with opioids has surged, while evidence for benefits of long-term opioid use has remained insufficient. It also recognizes that under-treatment of chronic pain in the US continues to be a serious public health issue. The FSMB has recently published an updated and expanded edition of “Responsible Opioid Prescribing: A Clinician's Guide,” a resource for clinicians involved in opioid therapy for chronic pain. Read a news story about the proceedings, with link to more information about the FSMB and resources, here.