by Myra Christopher, PAINS Director

1352940009Most of you are aware that for some time, the CDC has been in the process of developing Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Dr. Deborah Houry and her team at the Injury Prevention Center were tasked with this project.

Earlier this week, members of the PAINS Steering Committee met with Dr. Houry and her colleagues to express our concerns about content of the draft guidelines published on the web a few weeks ago that we believe could be detrimental to those living with chronic pain and the process by which they were developed. Also, we requested that prior to the guidelines entering the inter-agency review process required for finalization, CDC provide another period for public comment.

We had a straightforward and frank conversation and left Atlanta “cautiously optimistic.” We were alerted this morning that a notice was published in the Federal Register earlier today announcing a second period for public comment and a public conference call on January 7, 2016. Below is information about how to participate in this opportunity.

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.

CDC’s draft Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016 will be available on Monday, December 14, 2015, at for review and comment. The public comment period opens December 14, 2015 and closes January 13, 2016.

Please submit all comments and feedback at Enter the docket number (CDC-2015-0112) to access the docket.

Here is the link to today’s Federal Register Notice (FRN):

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 guidelines. 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.

Here is the FRN for the January 7 call:

Web links will be sent out on Monday that link directly to the Federal Register Notice for the draft CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, 2016 and the Federal Register Notice of the January 7, 2016 phone meeting of the NCIPC Board of Scientific Counselors. PAINS will forward these links to you immediately upon receipt.


Below are the links to the revised CDC Guidelines on Opioid Prescribing. It is incumbent upon all who are concerned about both chronic pain management and misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications to provide the CDC with comments, perspective, and personal experiences.

PAINS urges you to act before the January 13th cut-off date.


To Comment :!documentDetail;D=CDC-2015-0112-0001

Download the PDF of the guidelines –