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Oct. 3, 2006

Public meeting scheduled for draft guidelines on narcotics used to treat chronic, non-cancer pain

TUMWATER — The state’s Agency Medical Directors Group is developing guidelines for narcotics, or opioids, used to treat chronic, non-cancer pain among patients of state agency programs. As part of the development process, the Agency Medical Directors Group invites the public to a meeting where comments will be gathered:

Date:    October 23, 2006
Time:    11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Department of Labor & Industries, 7273 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater

The guidelines are being developed as a resource for primary care doctors to assist them in prescribing opioids safely and effectively. The new guidelines will apply only to the use of opioids to treat chronic pain — not to the treatment of acute pain, cancer pain, surgery-related pain, or end-of-life or hospice care. Publication is scheduled for early 2007, followed by a year-long effort to educate doctors about the opioid guidelines.

Physicians and staff from state agencies are working with actively practicing physicians who specialize in pain management to develop the guidelines. The draft guidelines are sponsored by the Agency Medical Directors Group, made up of medical directors from the departments of Corrections, Health, Health Care Authority, Labor & Industries, Social and Health Services, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Medical directors or their representatives will be on hand at the October 23 meeting.

The draft guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions (150 KB PDF) can be obtained by contacting 360-902-5024 or mcgs235@lni.wa.gov.

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For media information contact: Barbara A. Davis, 360-902-4216 or daba235@LNI.wa.gov

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