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Neurosurgery Urges U.S. Attorney General to Address Pain Control Enforcement

On Oct. 21, the AANS and the CNS joined the American Medical Association and others in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland asking for his assistance to resolve a harmful interpretation of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (P.L. 115-271). The Department of Justice currently interprets the SUPPORT Act as prohibiting pharmacies from delivering prescriptions for controlled substances to physicians for implantation or injection in their patients except for medications to treat opioid use disorder. The letter points out that if the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforces this interpretation, “up to 100,000 patients who rely on intrathecal pain pumps to control the symptoms of extremely painful conditions, such as advanced cancer, would lose access to safe and effective pain control.”

Earlier this year, neurosurgeons Albert E. Lee, MD, FAANS, Joshua M. Rosenow, MD, FAANS, and Jason M. Schwalb, MD, FAANS, provided information to the DEA about their experience with patients in need of this pain control treatment.

Click here to read the letter.