Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pain Symptom Manage. 2002 Feb;23(2):138-47.

Pain management, controlled substances, and state medical board policy: a decade of change.

Author information

Pain & Policy Studies Group, Madison, WI 53711, USA.


Physicians' concerns about regulatory scrutiny and the possibility of unwarranted investigation by regulatory agencies negatively affect their prescribing of opioid analgesics to treat pain. Indeed, some state medical boards have rejected prescribing practices that are considered acceptable by today's standards. This article describes a ten-year program of research, education, and policy development implemented by the Pain & Policy Studies Group aimed at updating and clarifying state medical board policies on the use of opioid analgesics to treat pain, including cancer and chronic noncancer pain. Following surveys of medical board members and educational workshops, state medical board policies began an initial period of change, drawing on guidelines from other states, particularly in California. The next phase of policy development was marked by the introduction of Model Guidelines by the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S. The Model Guidelines address professional standards for the appropriate prescribing of opioid analgesics for pain management, as well as physicians' fears of regulatory scrutiny. Although most state medical boards have adopted regulations, guidelines, or policy statements relating to controlled substances and pain management, to date ten boards have adopted the Model Guidelines, while ten more have adopted the Model Guidelines in part. Further actions are recommended so that state medical boards can address inadequate pain management and physician concerns about regulatory scrutiny.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center