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Neurosurgery Provides Recommendations for CDC Pain Guideline Update

On June 16, the AANS and the CNS sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the agency’s notice requesting feedback as it begins updating the CDC’s “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.” The neurosurgical groups pointed out that the guideline, released in 2016, had the unintended consequence of leaving some chronic pain and post-operative patients without adequate treatment options. As the CDC considers updating the guideline, the AANS and the CNS recommended that the agency:

  • Add a neurosurgeon to its proposed National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) Opioid Workgroup (OWG);
  • Include evidence regarding non-opioid alternatives such as neuromodulation;
  • Address complex issues surrounding opioid prescribing for post-surgical pain; and
  • Acknowledge the importance of insurance payor policy for effective pain treatment.