Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new guidelines for primary care doctors on when and how opioids should be prescribed for chronic pain in adults:
“The guidelines released by CDC are an important first step in combating the overuse of opioid painkillers, which is one of the root causes of the heroin epidemic in this country. The agency noted that no other medication regularly used to treat nonfatal conditions kills patients as frequently as opioids.
“In too many cases, opioids have become the default response for pain, even when alternatives are available. The guidelines will help doctors determine whether to start or continue opioids for treatment of chronic pain, as well as proper dosing and follow-up. They will also encourage greater use of evidence-based treatment.
“The federal government must now closely monitor whether doctors adopt these new guidelines and how they help address this deadly epidemic.”
Feinstein joined seven of her colleagues in November 2015 in urging the CDC to finalize strong guidelines to address overprescribing.