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ACP Supports CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

Washington, March 15, 2016—Thomas G. Tape, MD, FACP, chair-elect of the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians (ACP), today said the 143,000-member organization supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

"This is an important document to provide primary care physicians with guidance in addressing a public health problem at a time when many communities are being devastated by the adverse impact of opioid misuse," Dr. Tape emphasized. "ACP particularly commends the CDC for developing these guidelines only as recommendations for clinicians to consider while recognizing the unique needs and circumstances of each patient."

The CDC embraced a number of ACP recommendations made in response to a mid-January draft guideline, including:

  • Increased acknowledgement of the current limited, but emerging evidence related to the treatment of pain using opioids;
  • Increased flexibility within the wording of the recommendations to better recognize individual patient needs; and
  • Improved recognition of coverage and workforce barriers to approaches to non-opioid treatment of pain.

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The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 143,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: David Kinsman, APR, 202-261-4554, dkinsman@acponline.org