CMA releases white paper on opioid prescribing

June 19, 2013

The California Medical Association (CMA) has released a white paper titled: Opioid Analgesics in California: Relieving Pain, Preventing Misuse, Finding Balance, a report on the use of opioid medications.

California, along with the nation, is faced with a serious health care dilemma about opioid use and abuse. The white paper discusses how to use opioid medications to relieve pain safely and effectively, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose.

“Physician, patients, law enforcement and the general public need accurate information about appropriate opioid use,” said Paul R. Phinney, M.D., CMA president. “CMA has developed the white paper as a tool to help stakeholders understand the multi-faceted and very complex issues around opioid prescribing and use.”

The paper outlines a set of key recommendations, including: education for prescribers, policymakers and the public; increased use and funding of tools to improve patient safety; and obtaining additional California specific data on opioid use and misuse.

“Everyone involved in this complex issue can and must work together in order to advance pain care while minimizing risks to patients and to the general public,” said Dr. Phinney. “CMA’s belief, based on data and science presented in this paper, is that opioids have a legitimate role in helping people in pain and can be safe and effective when prescribed responsibly. Pain is the most common reason people seek health care. It is vital that we take a comprehensive look at this complex issue and find the best solutions for patient safety.”

The executive summary can be found here and the full white paper can be found here.

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