the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) of the United States
has encouraged state medical boards to update the Model Guidelines
for the Use of Controlled Substances for the Treatment of Pain.
The revised guidelines were submitted to the FSMB's House of Delegates
in May for consideration as policy. The FSMB hopes undertreatment
of pain will be as much of a violation of the standard of care as
other kinds of prescribing violations.
In an interview
by Medscape reporter Laurie Barclay asked James N. Thompson, MD,
president and chief executive officer of the FSMB, "What was
the rationale for the FSMB recommending a revision of guidelines
regarding pain treatment?" Dr. Thompson replied, "The
guidelines address the inadequate management of pain and barriers
that stand in the way of patients getting appropriate treatment.
These barriers include a lack of knowledge among some physicians
on what appropriate pain management entails. Another obstacle is
a fear some physicians have that they'll be investigated by regulators
if they prescribe controlled substances for pain."
Dr. Thompson, to date, California and Oregon are the only states
that have formally disciplined doctors for the undertreatment of
pain, but he anticipates more states will follow if the recommended
policy is approved.
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