APS E-News | Advocacy Update Report | August 2018
Health and Human Services Reviewing Opioid Prescribing Guidelines
The Trump administration could soon provide more guidance for doctors on how to safely limit prescription painkillers following complaints that the national crackdown on opioids has created barriers to treatment for patients with chronic pain.
HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir told POLITICO several agencies within his department are in discussions about possibly expanding opioid prescribing guidelines the CDC issued in 2016 that advise primary care doctors to use opioids as a last resort for pain treatment.
The influential 2016 guidelines represent a consensus that doctors need to curtail opioid prescriptions. But some doctors have cited them as reason to abruptly cut off prescriptions for chronic pain patients, leaving them with no alternative ways to cope with their pain or potential withdrawal symptoms.