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DATE: 1/5/2006
State Task Force on Pain Management Hears from AMB Executive Director

Scottsdale, Ariz. - The Executive Director of the Arizona Medical Board spoke before the Chronic Disease and Pain Management Task Force on January 3, 2005 at the state capitol and said that updated guidelines for physicians on pain management will focus on what is appropriate in terms of community standards.

Timothy C. Miller said the Arizona Medical Board plans to hold a public meeting sometime in February to get input on the updated guidelines. Mr. Miller agreed with Task Force Co-Chair, Senator Carolyn Allen (Rep. D-8), that clarity is very important.

Mr. Miller told the task force that the guidelines would be written from the perspective of the physicians practicing pain management appropriately. He stated that he did not want the guidelines driven by the few physicians whose pain management practices deviate from the appropriate standard of care.

The Task Force has until December 31, 2006 to study and recommend ways on improving access to pain management and how to best integrate pain management into the customary practice of health care providers. The task force, created by Senate Bill 1132 and signed into law by Governor Janet Napolitano on April 18, 2005, is com[rised of state senators, state representatives, medical doctors, a chiropractor, a pharmacist, a physical therapist, nurses, representatives of the Drug Enforcement Administration and a pain management advocacy group, and a chronic pain patient.

Mr. Miller explained that the guidelines are meant to help physicians manage their pain patients. He said the Arizona Medical Board will work with the Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners, the Arizona State Board of Nursing and the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy in developing the guidelines.