Chronic Pain — 19 September 2013

By Pat Anson, Editor

The day after the Food and Drug Administration said it would change the prescription guidelines for some opioid painkillers, millions of chronic pain patients and their physicians are still trying figure out who “won” the often bitter debate over the safety and long term effects of the drugs.

“I would call it a small victory,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, one of the founders of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), which filed a citizens’ petition with the FDA last year demanding major changes in the labeling guidelines for painkillers to stop doctors from over-prescribing them.

“I think the new labeling will hopefully lead to extended release opioids being used as a last resort when all other options fail.”

On the other end of spectrum is Dr. Jeffrey Fudin, a vocal critic of PROP and its petition, who says the agency’s decision was a victory for pain patients — including many who worried they would lose access to pain medication.

“I feel sorry for the many patients nationwide that anguished day after day and sent thousands of anxiety stricken e-mails to politicians, the FDA, and to me.  But they all owe this country and the FDA a debt of gratitude,” Fudin wrote in his blog.

Read more at National Pain Report.

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About Author

Pat Anson, Editor

Pat is Editor in Chief of American News Report. He is a veteran journalist and a former correspondent and producer for HealthWeek (PBS), Nightly Business Report (PBS) and other nationally syndicated shows. Pat has won numerous journalism awards, including a Golden Mike award for investigative reporting.

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