Editor’s Note: PAINS’ Advisory Committee member and associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Peggy Compton, RN, PhD, FAAN comments on JAMA report about ways to control the opioid epidemic.

Published by Pain Medicine News

Reducing the supply of prescription opioids by adopting more conservative and evidence-based practices for prescribing opioids for chronic pain is just one of a host of recommendations advocated in a new report in JAMA (2017;318:423-424).

“We also need to educate ourselves and our patients as to the risks surrounding prescription opioids,” said David J. Clark, MD, a member of the Committee on Pain Management and Regulatory Strategies to Address Prescription Opioid Abuse. “Augmented efforts during professional education and continuing education are key, as will be efforts to formally educate the community about these opioid-related risks.”

The committee was assembled and the report generated at the request of the FDA through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. “The motivation of the FDA was to ensure that its processes were appropriate for evaluating opioids as medications,” said Dr. Clark, professor of anesthesiology at Stanford School of Medicine, and director of pain management at VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, in Palo Alto, Calif. “The FDA was very concerned with the levels of misuse of prescription opioids and the links between prescription opioid use and the rising heroin epidemic.”

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