CDC releases final Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
Officials from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauded the CDC’s efforts to quell prescription pain medication abuse -- but did say they wished the CDC had used more consideration for cancer survivors’ need for opioids.
“ACS CAN appreciates that the CDC has recognized the important role that pain management plays in caring for patients in active cancer treatment, at the end of life, or receiving palliative care, but the guidelines disregard the impact on cancer survivors,” ACS CAN President Chris Hansen said. “Pain does not end when an individual completes treatment. Most often, cancer patients deal with lasting effects from their disease or treatment including pain for a significant period of time -- or indefinitely.”
Hansen said ACS CAN officials were aware that opioid abuse was a “public health emergency.”
“We are disappointed that the CDC guideline released today did not address our previously stated concern about needed access to opioid analgesics for cancer survivors who experience severe pain that limits their quality of life,” Hansen said. “ACS CAN shares the goal of the public health community of encouraging appropriate use of opioids. We remain concerned that without a balanced approach that accounts for the full continuum of care for cancer survivors the emphasis on reducing inappropriate use of pain medications will impede access to necessary pain relief for individuals fighting pain from cancer.”
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