The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has prepared preliminary prescribing guidelines for primary care physicians. The recommendations, outlined in a webinar in September and subsequently leaked online, call on doctors to prescribe opioids only after other therapies have failed.
This is a crucial effort. Family doctors write the vast majority of prescriptions for painkillers. Yet there is considerable opposition to the guidelines — and much of the reproach comes from organizations that represent patients suffering from cancer and pain. And some of the groups receive backing from drug makers that sell these pills. Read More