Slow progress recorded for states implementing balanced patient pain policies
The report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) notes that few states are showing significant progress in applying pain care policies. These policies specifically apply to patients who live with serious illnesses.
“As a nation, we must enact sensible policies to curb the growing public health crisis of opioid abuse, while at the same time recognizing the needs of cancer patients and survivors who have debilitating pain and must have access to pain medications,” Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, said. “Legislative initiatives must maintain a balanced, scientific and medical approach that don’t lead to unintended consequences by compromising access for patients who have legitimate pain.”
The report does not reveal anything about patients’ experiences related to increasing concerns about abusing pain medication in the U.S.
“While these are very promising findings, more work remains to ensure these improved state pain policies are put into practice for patient pain care,” Dr. Aaron Gilson, research program manager for the PPSG, said. “It is also important that new policies don’t impose undue treatment barriers that affect important doctor-patient health care decision-making.”