Officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently published the final draft of their National Pain Strategy (NPS), providing the federal government with guidelines to decrease the chronic pain burden within the U.S.
The draft is about abuse-deterrent opioids. It also includes the addition of safety warnings to packaging on opioids. This is the first time that the U.S. federal government has had a set of guidelines like these.
"In general, the policy summarizes the current state of pain management, develops one, three and five-year strategies and utilizes the expertise of, and recommendations from, the many national stakeholders with an interest in pain in developing those strategies," Robert Rich, AAFP's representative on the AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse, said. "I would recommend that the AAFP support the NPS."
The Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee created the draft to be a comprehensive, population health-oriented plan. The committee members used a report from 2011, which was compiled by the Institute of Medicine, to provide recommendations about seeing chronic pain as an important public health problem.
"For the millions of Americans who suffer from significant pain, and the health systems that serve them, generic opioids can be an appropriate and affordable option for patient care," FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said. "We recognize that abuse-deterrent technology is still evolving and is only one piece of a much broader strategy to combat the problem of opioid abuse. But strongly encouraging innovation to increase access to generic forms of abuse-deterrent opioid medications is an important element in that strategy."