CDC Reconsiders Policy Following Regenstrief Findings

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(Image courtesy of IUPUI) (Image courtesy of IUPUI)
INDIANAPOLIS -

Findings from the Regenstrief Institute have prompted The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to redefine its guidelines on opioid prescription. A panel led by Research Scientist Kurt Kroenke found that clinicians, policymakers and payers are "misapplying" the CDC's guidelines, and those actions are adversely impacting patients. 

The panel addressed guidelines the CDC issued in 2016 designed to limit the abuse of opioid medications. In those guidelines, the CDC advised clinicians to suggest alternative pain treatments first, limit opioid doses and prescriptions and make patients aware of the risks associated with opiods. 

Dr. Kroenke served as the chair of the American Academy of Pain Medicine Foundation consensus panel created to review the influence of these guidelines on pain management practices. The panel identified several interpretations that may be resulting in a negative experience for patients.

"The intent of the CDC guidelines was to individualize treatment, but the overly restrictive prescribing policies created by legislatures and payers have led to unintended harm for some patients. Those policies will take time to roll back," said Kroenke. "In addition, burdens, fears and stigma related to opioid prescribing have been instilled in many clinicians, and that will be even more difficult to reverse."

CDC officials say they will review the policy and its effects and will make adjustments as they receive updated information.

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