Prioritizing the Patient in the Opioid Debate: A Roundtable Discussion

Prioritizing the Patient in the Opioid Debate:
A Roundtable Discussion

As the nation struggles with prescription opioid abuse, misuse, and diversion, clinicians, the FDA, and pharmaceutical industry are under pressure to develop and prescribe medications with abuse-deterrent technologies that do not directly benefit patients, but target "unintended" uses. In the rush to "make everything abuse-deterrent," the chronic pain patient has been lost in the discussion. The long-term efficacy of opioid analgesics for chronic pain has also been hotly debated due to the lack of good long-term evidence in this patient population. However, the needs of the chronic pain patient are often lost in this debate. In addition, we will address other clinical needs of chronic pain patients, such as disturbed sleep and anxiety.

During this panel discussion, pain management and addiction specialists and a patient advocate will evaluate whether or not pain patients, needs are being prioritized in the opioid debate.


  • Do abuse-deterrent opioids truly impact prescription opioid misuse and abuse, the most common form of which is oral ingestion?
  • Are there unintended consequences of new abuse-deterrent opioid formulations for the pain patient?
  • How does the lack of evidence for the long-term efficacy of opioid analgesics for chronic pain affect clinical decision-making?
  • How can clinicians address the impact of disturbed sleep in patients with chronic pain?
  • How can clinicians treat concomitant anxiety in chronic pain patients treated with opioid analgesics without increasing risk of harm?


Martin D. Cheatle, PhD (moderator)
Director, Pain and Chemical Dependency Program,
Center for Studies of Addiction,
Perelman School of Medicine,
University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Director, Behavioral Medicine,
Reading Health System,
West Reading, Pennsylvania

Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director,
National Pain Centers,
Greater Chicago Area, Illinois
Chief Medical Officer, Wellness Center USA, Inc,
Schaumburg, Illinois
Chairman, Clinical Board of Directors,
National Pain Foundation

Heather Butler-Pierce, MEd
Patient Advocate
The Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation

Supported by an educational grant from

This activity is not certified for credit.