Advisory Panel Calls for Requiring Training for Doctors Who Prescribe Opioids

Advisory Panel Calls for Requiring Training for Doctors Who Prescribe Opioids

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recently voted to recommend requiring doctors who prescribe opioids to receive training.

Doctors’ groups have resisted mandatory training.

The FDA often follows their advisory panels’ recommendations, but the agency is not required to do so.

The Wall Street Journal reports the panel heard evidence on ways to improve opioid safety. The panel unanimously voted to recommend overhauling current federal regulations to train physicians and patients about the risks of overusing opioid painkillers.

“We need to teach people to use these drugs sparingly,” said committee member Jeanmarie Perrone, a professor of emergency medicine and toxicologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

The panel heard extensive public testimony from people who urged making opioid training mandatory for doctors, and cautioned the training should not be controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Chris Johnson of Minneapolis told the panel, “Every brain is at risk for dependence. As far as the human brain is concerned, all opiates are heroin.” The only way to reduce addiction and overdoses, he said, “is to reduce opioid prescribing.”

In 2012, the FDA rejected a recommendation from an expert panel that called for mandatory physician training for opioid prescribing. The panel said such training might help reduce overdose deaths from opioid painkillers.

Since 2012, the FDA has required companies that make long-acting opioids, such as OxyContin, methadone and fentanyl, to underwrite voluntary medical education courses on prescribing the drugs. Last week, many of those companies said they support requiring physicians to have specific training or expertise in pain management before they can obtain a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe extended-release/long-acting opioids.

Rate this blog entry:

Related Posts


Dear Friend of NCADD ...
It takes courage, determination and strength to avoid alcohol and drugs or to seek help and overcome addiction. We want to do everything in our power to provide the tools and support to help those on this journey. Without question, this is the most important journey of their lives and your support makes a huge difference in its outcome!
On behalf of all those on the journey to recovery, and of all those waiting to start that journey, we thank you.
Donate Now