American Academy of Pain Medicine offers guidance on proper prescribing

LETTER — Posted June 26, 2006

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Regarding "Negotiate with patients on treatment of pain" (Column, April 3): This article brought forward some of the complex decisions faced by physicians and their patients who suffer from chronic non-cancer pain.

It was refreshing to read an article that addressed this topic directly while providing thoughtful guidance on the prescribing of pain medications and at the same time discussing the medical and psychological management of patients with pain.

Recognizing the challenges that are inherent in managing the complexities of chronic pain patients, the American Academy of Pain Medicine has published the first Ethics Charter specifically addressing issues in pain medicine.

The AAPM Ethics Charter provides methodology to approach these difficult clinical issues. It was written, in part, to help improve the quality of patient care by encouraging physicians not to shy away from difficult cases in their treatment plans.

Physicians may find additional support through the joint recommendations of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the American Pain Society on opioid prescribing, which represents a standard of care guiding ethical practice.

AAPM invites your readers to access online the Ethics Charter (link) and the consensus statement, The Use of Opioids for the Treatment of Chronic Pain (link).

Philipp M. Lippe, MD, AMA delegate, American Academy of Pain Medicine, San Jose, Calif.

Editor's note: Dr. Lippe serves as the executive medical director of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/06/26/edlt0626.htm.

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