Consensus Statement Released on Family Physicians’ Role in Pain Management

Consensus Statement Released on Family Physicians’ Role in Pain Management

Rosemarie Sweeney

The AAFP, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and 17 other physician, nursing, pain management research, and patient advocacy groups, recently endorsed a joint consensus statement that expresses a commitment to preventing drug abuse and ensuring that effective pain management medicines remain available to patients who have a legitimate need for them. The statement affirms that “preventing drug abuse is an important societal goal, but there is a consensus, by law enforcement agencies, health care practitioners, and patient advocates alike, that it should not hinder patients’ ability to receive the care they need and deserve.” The AAFP submitted testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee about the usefulness of pain medicines and the role of family physicians in pain management. The testimony, which was in response to the growing illicit use of pain medications (especially the time-release painkiller OxyContin), detailed the AAFP’s actions to educate physician members about the potential for diversion and abuse of OxyContin. These actions include: articles in member publications, advice on protecting the authenticity of physician prescriptions, and identifying behavior suggestive of a person attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions through “doctor shopping.” To view the joint statement online, visit http://www.lastacts.org/briefingoct01. The AAFP’s testimony can be viewed online at http:// www.aafp.org/gov/fed/20011023.html.

COPYRIGHT 2001 American Academy of Family Physicians

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group