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.”