Attorneys General Express Concern Regarding HHS Pain Management Draft Report

Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho joined 38 of his colleagues in a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sharing concerns about the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report (Draft Report). The letter was addressed to Dr. Vanila Singh, chief medical officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

As it stands, the Draft Report deviates from guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are aimed at decreasing the risk of opioid misuse. The report suggests providers can rely solely on their judgement instead of consulting evidence-based recommendations for opioid prescription duration and dosage.

“As attorneys general, we have witnessed the devastating effect of unfettered opioid manufacturing, distribution and prescribing on our public health, social services and criminal justice systems. The well-established risks associated with higher doses of opioids, prescriptions of longer duration, and concurrent prescriptions of opioids and benzodiazepines demand continued constraints,” reads the NAAG letter signed by 39 state and territorial attorneys general.

“We must be proactive in striking a balance between provider discretion and doing what we can to prevent and detect opioid abuse,” said Attorney General Camacho.