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Pa. agencies issue guidelines for opioid prescribing

July 14, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Two Pennsylvania state agencies and the Pennsylvania Medical Society have jointly released guidelines for healthcare providers who treat non-cancer chronic pain. The document, which follows a directive from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, calls for an interdisciplinary, multimodal approach to treating chronic pain, with careful use of medications as one potential strategy in combination with physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and other interventions.

The state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Department of Health established a task force on safe and effective prescribing practices and pain management to review existing prescribing practices in the state. “States are vital to reversing the prescription drug overdose epidemic and providing education and resources to reverse these trends,” state Physician General Carrie DeLone, MD, said in a July 10 news release.

The task force, which includes health professionals, association leaders and regulators, also is seeking to improve provider recognition of substance use problems in patients. The panel next will be looking at opioid prescribing guidelines in hospital emergency departments.

For more information on the new practice guidelines document for providers, click here.