Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to continue soliciting feedback from key stakeholders when crafting new guidelines and best practices for prescribing opioids. Donnelly and Ayotte also applauded Secretary Burwell for her commitment to addressing opioid abuse.
Donnelly and Ayotte have been working together to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics through the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention, Education, and Enforcement Act, which they reintroduced this April. Their bill includes a provision calling for the development of best practices for opioid prescribing.
“We are pleased that the CDC appears to be taking a similar approach to the plan we outlined in our legislation, and is currently bringing together a diverse group of experts to develop new guidelines that will better enable medical professionals to treat chronic, non-cancer pain patients while reducing the risk of opioid abuse,” Donnelly and Ayotte wrote. “As the CDC works through the process of developing and updating these guidelines, we hope that the agency will continue to seek robust input from a broad range of relevant stakeholders, including agency experts, practitioners, professional associations, and patient advocates, and engage in meaningful dialogue with the prescriber community prior to producing a final product.”
Full text of the letter to Secretary Burwell follows. To see a PDF of the signed copy, click here.