U.S. drug czar to talk pain man­age­ment strate­gies

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Steven Ross John­son

Since the start of the opi­oid drug abuse epi­demic, health of­fi­cials have pro­moted the role providers should play in solv­ing the cri­sis by writ­ing fewer pre­scrip­tions for opi­oid painkillers.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion is­sued guid­ance this year for doc­tors to try al­ter­na­tive ap­proaches of treat­ing pain such as over-the­counter med­i­ca­tions and cog­ni­tive-be­hav­ioral and phys­i­cal ther­apy be­fore pre­scrib­ing opi­oids.

The shift will be a key topic Thurs­day when Michael Bot­ti­celli, di­rec­tor of the White House Of­fice of Na­tional Drug Con­trol Pol­icy, par­tic­i­pates in a panel dis­cus­sion dur­ing the an­nual meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Os­teo­pathic As­so­ci­a­tion in Chicago.

The in­ter­est in al­ter­na­tive strate­gies to man­age pain has been on the rise in re­cent years but has been hin­dered by what many see as a lack of progress in de­vel­op­ing more ef­fec­tive non-opi­oid op­tions.

And many pain spe­cial­ists ar­gue that they still strug­gle to get in­sur­ers to fully cover some pain treat­ment modal­i­ties.

Bot­ti­celli’s visit may be seen as a sign of greater ac­cep­tance of the use of os­teo­pathic ma­nip­u­la­tion for the treat­ment of pain de­spite some con­tin­ued doubts about its ben­e­fits (See Best Prac­tices, p. 26).

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