Released by CDC

Every day, 52 Americans die from overdoses of prescription opioids and many more lives are shattered by addiction. Many Americans also suffer from chronic pain, a major public health concern in the U.S. Patients with chronic pain deserve safe and effective pain management.

CDC is developing an opioid prescribing guideline to help primary care providers offer safer, more effective care for patients with chronic pain and help reduce misuse, abuse, and overdose from these drugs. The guideline will provide recommendations to primary care providers about the appropriate prescribing of opioid pain medications to improve pain management and patient safety. Recommendations focus on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (i.e., pain lasting longer than three months or past the time of normal tissue healing). The guideline is not intended for patients who are in active cancer treatment, palliative care, or end-of-life care.

CDC’s draft Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016 is now available at www.Regulations.gov for review and comment. We received feedback from our partners that a formal public comment period would be helpful, and we are augmenting our process to incorporate a 30-day public comment period into our guideline development.

The public comment period opens today, December 14, 2015 and closes January 13, 2016. Please submit all comments and feedback at www.Regulations.gov. Enter the docket number (CDC-2015-0112) to access the docket.

CDC will also convene the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC), a federal advisory committee, to review the draft guideline. At a public conference call on January 7, 2016, CDC will ask the BSC to appoint a workgroup to review the draft guideline and comments received on the guideline, and present recommendations about the guideline to the BSC.

More information:

  • Federal Register Notice of public comment on the draft CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016
  • Federal Register Notice of the January 7, 2016 phone meeting of the NCIPC Board of Scientific Counselors

CDC values stakeholder and public engagement and we encourage all stakeholders to provide feedback on the draft guidelines. Please forward this announcement to others who may be interested in commenting. CDC appreciates the feedback we have received to date, which has informed and strengthened the document thus far, and we look forward to receiving further input to improve the way opioids are prescribed to ensure safer, more effective pain management and reduce opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose.

Please note: The full draft Guideline is one of several documents listed in the docket on Regulations.gov. Here is a direct link to the draft Guideline PDF: http://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=CDC-2015-0112-0002&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf