CDC to Host Public Conference Call on Controversial Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

CDC to Host Public Conference Call on Controversial Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

By: Staff

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting a public conference call on its controversial Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain Thursday, January 7, 2016, at 9:00 am ET.

The public can participate via a conference call.  The dial-in number is: 1-888-395-7561, and the Participant Code is: 3954121.

The conference call will focus on the background for development of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (Guideline) and the formation of the Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain Workgroup (Opioid Guideline Workgroup).

Public comments will be accepted, but only related to the formation of the Opioid Guideline Workgroup.

There will be 30 minutes allotted for public comments at the end of the session. All public comments will be limited to two-minutes per speaker.

In December, under mounting criticism from patients, physicians and industry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it opened a second period for public comment on its Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

The public comment period opened December 14, 2015 and closes January 13, 2016.  To comment, visit the Federal Register here.  For tips on effective ways to communicate with the government, read this article.

To date, 1,794 comments have been received, reflecting the statements from people concerned that the guidelines will restrict access to opioids, as well as, statements from people concerned about over-prescribing and its relationship to addiction and overdose.

Myra Christopher, Director of the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS), which is a consortium of leaders working in professional societies, patient advocacy organizations, policy groups, consumers, payers and the private sector, said this about the open comment period.

“It is our hope that each of you and your organization will engage in this process, and I want to personally encourage you to do so. All of us are working to establish a new standard of chronic pain care – one that allows healthcare professionals and those living with chronic pain access to the full menu of treatment options, including opioids for those who benefit from them. We are all, however, also aware of the risks associated with these medications. It is important for CDC to get this right, and they need our help to do so.”

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Authored by: Staff

There are 24 comments for this article
  1. scott michaels at 10:48 am

    there is plenty of money. How many pharm. companies sell pain medication. they stand to loose billions. Also as a class action we all WILL experience pain and suffering. The question is who to suit. the answer is every doctor and rehab center inolved. every Hmo that supports this by voting for it.
    I wish some one or some firm would take the lead and be proactive.

  2. Jean Price at 10:29 am

    Cynthia…money is always a concern, but doesn’t have to be a stumbling block! They might find some legal group who wants to fight for use its because it’s right!! Perhaps if they combined forces for fundraising and for the legal procedures it would help. There are lots of other pain advocacy groups. I’d think united for common purposes would strengthen each of them, and significantly help us. I was told by one organization that the Pain Foundation wouldn’t support their idea for joining in these issues…but don’t know if this is accurate. Maybe “we the people” need to encourage all of them to act together for our behalf. Doesn’t seem like any one group is making much headway. And again, I believe we are going to have to have a nationally known legal proceeding for this to give us any real voice at all! Why isn’t it time for that? And what are the downsides? Aren’t these our civil rights at stake? The rhetoric and our comments to each other is like preaching to the choir! And wastes so much energy that could be better focused, I think. We need a national champion!

  3. C Hawkins at 9:04 am

    What the unknowing public fails to realize is that chronic pain untreated and left to be battled without medications does shorten a patients life. Our bodies are set up to dump hormones and chemicals into it when pain receptors are continually firing and this constant production and these residual chemicals from those actions affects all organ systems.
    As I’ve said many times before, denying a pain patient the right to happiness and a life like anyone else is a statement of denial of civil rights. My newest believer is my husband who saw what a doctor did to me when claiming I didn’t stop taking a medication he banned then essentially firing me as a patient when all the urine labs showed a diminishing of the drug over 3 months to no trace the last 2 labs. When I refused injections every 30 days he saw that I was not a lucrative patient to keep and used the drug issue to remove me.
    His motive was apparent when he got mad over my refusal of another SI injection even though my scan showed bone breakdown in that area from a time in the 90’s when I was given so many Corticosteroids that the pain management doctor lost count.
    One of the problems is the DEA standard of each drugs time remaining in the patients urine. It’s been proven that lack of exercise, other medications, excessive fat and poor health affect the times a drug remains in the body, radically. I am on a strong daily cancer medicine, gained weight when I was no longer controlling my pain, fighting cancer and not exercising. It changed the time this certain drug remained in the urine from 12 days up to 60 days but this doctor refused to even read the scientific study.
    Many of these problems are misinformation due to standards set up with only a simple parameter.
    In being called a liar I am searching for an attorney to take my case of defamation of character since my records now show I took prescription drugs outside a physcians order. Those records will remain with my name forever and it has damaged my name.

  4. cynthia at 10:02 pm

    maybe we could start a fund on that website where you create donation funds for worthy causes….or something like that . if we all put in $20, we might be able to afford an attorney.

  5. cynthia at 10:00 pm

    i agree, Jean. maybe it’s the expense…maybe there’s no money for attorneys. pain people don’t usually have money, seems like. we sure do need some good legal attention.

  6. Jean Price at 8:23 pm

    Cynthia and Scott…I think having the Pain Foundation or one of the other advocacy groups…better yet all of them combined…take up the gauntlet LEGALLY is a wonderful idea! I have to ponder why they haven’t done this already. And the only reason I can come up with is that theirs is more a role of passive resistance. I seriously doubt that is going to change anything in my lifetime. In fact, I think that is what the doctors and educators and advocates for pain care have been doing for too long. The time for assertive legal action may be facing them now…since I don’t see their efforts making any significant headway. Things keep getting worse. Wonder if they will, or if they have too many liaisons to risk it.

  7. Barbara Woolston at 5:43 pm

    Hi I have lawyers who will do a class action lawsuit,if just one pain patient can get their doctor to admit to having to limit the amount allowed to thir patients. And that doctor is not afraid. All can join in. They are Civil rights attorneys in LA Ca & ha e o er turned the constitution of the US. They earn their fee by wi ning!! I have to ha e surgery but will look the. Up as I have lots of data. I will set up a sleciL phone line or e mail to receive. We need to bring our troops home because the in human terrorists are our own government & we need protection( ha)!we need to hurry before the next ruling! 🙂

  8. Cheryl at 5:12 pm

    Well said Scott Michaels. I’ve been in severe pain due to fibromyalgia and am certain that I would commit suicide if not for the pain medications prescribed to me. If you are not a chronic pain sufferer, you need to stay out of this one.

  9. Scott michaels at 6:58 pm

    i agree. These so called advocates are just talking. there needs to be action. how hard could it be for a person with the means and true desire to help us go to pharmaceutical companies and distributors to start a fund so a group can be put together to get our cause to the courts, media and the legeslature. Personally I have not been affected with any reductions. The reason i speak so much is that i have witnessed people who have. There are people not being treated for their pain or they are getting minimum care. Some have decided to live with their pain. Many of them are bedridden and are just waiting to die, many drive hundreds of miles every month just to get care, a few im sure turned to the streets and a few have commited suicide. there was a time in this country when people would march on Washington when there when injustices happened. IS THAT HOW FAR WE NEED TO GO!
    The way i see it is if a person lost a loved one due to addiction, how many will lose loved ones due to chronic pain. Whats done is done.
    The CDC HAD TO GO BACK 16 YEARS TO COME UP WITH THE 300% GAIN IN OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS. WE NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH IT DECEEASED OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS. why are they afraid to show us real numbers. Another example is what is the number of opioid prescriptions where a person died from that prescription only. As chronic pain patients we CANT use other drugs or medications for fear of having a urine test. Many are in pain that cant get treatment because their pain is imvisible. there must be a brain test that can see the pain.. if that pain is visible on the sacn. they should be treated no differently then a person with degen. disc. desease or any other visible diagnosis.
    MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE THAT HAVE TAKEN THESE MEDS FOR OVER TWO YEARS AND HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE TOLERANT TO THE MEDICATION AND HAVE CLEAN URINE TESTING SHOULD BE GRANDFATHERED IN. ANY GUIDELINE THAT EVENTUALLY GET PUBLISHED SHOULD BE FOR NEW PATIENTS ONLY

  10. cynthia at 10:51 am

    so why doesn’t one of the pain orgs – this one, or US pain foundation, or pain connection, or all of them….why don’t they get together and hire an attorney to file a lawsuit. and why don’t the doctors get the AMA to help with this, since so many of them have been impacted? why are the doctors so passive? this is a national emergency. people are losing their lives and their quality of life everyday, as we all know.

  11. Dave b at 8:17 am

    2 minutes into the call i realized these people are just sheep. the statistics quoted were false. they continue to group pain patients with heroin addicts. yhey had to go back 16 years just to say opioid use is up 300%. IF THEY WENT BACK JUST 5 YEARS THERE IS A HUGE DECREASE, THAT THEY WOULDNT SHARE. 20MILLION IN CHRONIC PAIN 259 MILL SCRIPTS WRITTEN. DO THE MATH MORON. THAT IS 240 MILL SCRIPTS JUST FOR CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS. WHAT.ABOUT EVERYBODY ELSE.THEY SAY WHAT THEY ARE TOLD OR WHAT IS IN FRONT OF THEM WITH NO REGARD FOR THE TRUTH.
    IF WE WANT TO NE HEARD WE NEED PEOPLE TO TAKE THEM TO COURT. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THIS WILL STOP

  12. Jean Price at 8:13 am

    There is much that could be added to prevent addiction in the care of people who take opioids on a regular basis. The loss and grief that comes with chronic pain are rarely addressed, even by pain clinics. I don’t mean individual psychologist treatment, I mean grief therapy by grief counsellors and group education. Being in pain is like instantly aging and the losses can overwhelm the best person. Not only do you have the pain to contend with…but also the dynamics of your life with pain. I was fortunate enough to be in a job affiliated with hospice and grief recovery work. The things I learned there have been invaluable to me in living life and life with pain. One of the theories is that addiction comes from using unhealthy ways of controlling pain, i.e. denial, substance abuse, behavior addictions to name a few. The main way to start a healthily process is to own the reality of your pain and tell your story. Only then can affirmation and reinvestment take place, within the reality of life with the loss. This is totally neglected in most pain programs I’ve been associated with and I have lived with chronic pain and taken opioids for over 25 years. I have remained a vital, loving, caring person through all of this and I am saddened that others haven’t received the tools I have that have helped me through this. I am stronger and better, even though my ability to function continues to decline and my pain continues to increase with aging. Please think about this as you work on guidelines to help us. And for those families suffering because of addiction, I urge you to look into grief counseling. Thanks for hearing us!

  13. M. Smith at 11:27 pm

    They should’ve allotted more time for calls. 30 mins for a max 2 minute comment is only 15 people out of a million plus pain patients. smdh.

  14. Scott michaels at 7:04 pm

    im on west coast and wouldnt miss it. Im goung to record it for possible future litigation

  15. Cynthia at 4:20 pm

    I couldn’t agree more…I won’t be there. 6 am is not possible for me, in Pacific zone. What a shame

  16. Kurt W.G. Matthies at 1:42 pm

    Chronic pain and insomnia go together like Laurel and Hardy, money and power, french fried potatoes and catsup. What could better assure minimal patient participation than a start time of 9 AM Eastern?

    Imagine America’s poor, suffering, chronic painers at…

    9 am eastern

    8 am central

    7 am mountain

    6 am Pacific

    And aloha,

    4 am Hawaiian

    The power breakfast….politics American style.

  17. John S at 11:59 pm

    Bill Doc; maybe the panel should be made up of families that lost a loved one due to under treatment of pain or in many cases Vets that were suddenly taken off their pain meds and left with no meaningful life at all.

    Two sides always two sides. Punishing one won’t benefit the other.

    John S

  18. Bill Doc at 6:03 pm

    Scott Michaels
    I know people that took it as directed, and got addicted. All kinds of people get addicted to these narcotic pills. These “knuckleheads” that you mention are people too. The number of opioid addicts have quadrupled in the last 20 years that narcotics have been so freely prescribed. (About the time Purdu Pharma lied about Oxy being non-addictive). As a result, the overdose death rate has increased to the point that it now kills more people than car accidents. Doctors hand out the scripts like tic tacs. My dentist wanted to give me percs for a pulled tooth. People think the pills safe because they are prescribed so freely. Why didn’t my dentist prescribe me ibuprofen and then tell me to call if I was still in pain and we’ll discuss the next step? Why are narcotics the first step? The guidelines suggest offering other, less dangerous, methods first. Do we just sacrifice so many lives to justify pain free? Does pain trump death? How do we get the addiction and death rate back to where they were 20 years ago and keep people as pain free as possible? We need a real solution this dilemma.

  19. Cynthia at 5:59 pm

    Too bad the CDC couldn’t do this call a little later in the day. My guess is this is deliberate. I live in the Pacific time zone and 6 am is impossible for me to attend. If anyone knows how/where I can voice my protest of this scheduling, where they would hear it, please let me know

  20. Nancy R at 5:12 pm

    Sounds like they have already decided, giving 30 minutes for open questions that are specific to the workgroup will not have a chance to improve these guidelines. If alternative seevices are recommended, then they should be covered by insurance. Saying that…in many cases opioids are what gets us out of the door and function somewhat normally. The adjunct treatment does help…but it doesnt reduce the pain as much as the pain meds.

  21. Scott michaels at 12:52 pm

    To Bill Doc
    The reason they shouldnt be included is because they do not suffer from chronic pain. They were related to or friends with a Drug addict. Because a group of people couldnt take their medication as directed like the rest of us and then wean off of it, they ruined it for the millions of people that suffer in extreme pain on a daily basis. People that have tried everything possible to relieve their pain and the only thing that did the job and is doing the job is opioid therapy. People like you just refuse to understand that those that died because of. pain relievers did because at some point they wanted to get high and did. Addiction is a desease. With that said it would have been something else. Alcohol and pot lead to heroin and cocaine for an addict. Not to mention valiun, xanex, ecstacy etc. The only drugs that actually help people function, be active and relieve a good portion of their pain are opioids, as they have for thousands of years.
    Just like gun control. THE BAD GUYS ALREADY HAVE GUNS AND WILL ALWAYS BE ABLE TO GET ONE. THE DRUG ADDICTS OUT THEIR ARE FINDING HEROIN BECAUSE PAIN PILLS ARE ALREADY TOO DIFFICYLT TO GET.
    WHY SHOULD PEOPLE WITH SPINAL CONDITIONS, WOUNDED WARRIORS, VICTIMS OF BAD SURGERIES, ETC BE PUNISHED AND TORTURED BECAUSE A GROUP OF KNUCKLEHEADS DECIDED TO GET LOADED INSTEAD OF JUST FEELING BETTER. TO DATE NOT 1 PERSON DIED FROM OPIOID MEDICATION IF THEY TOOK IT AS DIRECTED.

  22. Bill Doc at 11:24 am

    Why shouldn’t the commentators be families who have lost their loved ones to opioid addiction

  23. Dave at 11:05 am

    The CDC is trying to make a good show of being open to the public input on the guidelines-but as they say its a little too little, a little too late. What difference would it make if 100 million people in pain commented on the CDC opioid guidelines- if the CDC and their friends in industry don’t care in the first place what people in pain want? The CDC represents some factions in society who refuse to have a real open conversation with people in pain. So guidelines merely represent the will of certain factions in America writ large and passed off as good for people in pain-whom the CDC believe have no right to be heard on matters that affect their pain care.
    If the CDC and those professionals they assembled to create their opioid guidelines were more open to the preferences and problems of people in pain- they the guidelines would never bee needed
    New rules are needed to ensure that people in pain have real rights to access pain care diagnostics and treatments of their choosing. After all- it is their pain. Furthermore, government and the health care industry have failed people in pain.
    When it comes to pain care, governments heart has waxed gross and their ears are dull-and the same applies to the health care industry that has wished to dictate their preferences, occupational strategies, status seeking, and greed and claim it is in the best interests of the public good.
    People in pain would do better then to call for a new bundle of rights when it comes to deciding what treatments are best for them. Without new enforceable rights people in pain will continue to be serfs without rights and forced to follow the designs of factions in government and health care that have little regard for them as people.
    When you meet with your health providers or legislators- why not give them a written list of what you would like-have your own bill of rights you would like them to consider in caring about you and your suffering. Failing that pain care wont get much better anytime soon.

  24. Scott michaels at 9:19 am

    who decides in the public commentators. only 15 people speak for 2 minutes. who are they and what is their position on the matter. They better be chronic pain patients or our doctors.