Profession

DEA drops pain FAQs from Web site

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 8, 2004

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has removed from its Web site a 31-page "frequently asked questions" document designed to answer common concerns that both health care professionals and law enforcement personnel might have about prescription pain medications.

In its place, the DEA posted a two-paragraph notice explaining that the document contained "misstatements" and had not been approved as an "official statement" of the agency.

DEA special agent Ed Childress said the agency "will have another statement going out identifying all the problems with the document."

The document, released Aug. 13., was co-authored by the DEA, the Last Acts Partnership and the Pain & Policy Studies Group at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Russell K. Portenoy, MD, chair of the Dept. of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, served as the effort's lead expert on pain.

Aaron Gilson, PhD, assistant director with the Pain & Policy Studies Group, said his organization would be "open to a wider review" of the document but added that the DEA's action had not caused it "to second-guess the content of the document in terms of its utility and correctness."

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/11/08/prbf1108.htm.

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