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DATE: 3/16/2006
Draft Pain Management Guidelines Receive Good Reviews

Scottsdale, Ariz. - The Arizona Medical Board held a Public Forum today on the Draft Pain Management Guidelines for physicians. Those who attended generally agreed the draft goes a long way in easing physicians‘ fear of regulatory scrutiny.

Timothy C. Miller, Executive Director of the Medical Board, said he was pleased with the turnout. Mr. Miller said, “We had a good cross-section of the medical community: physicians, nurses, patients, community healthcare societies, and a representative of a workers‘ compensation insurance company.”

The purpose of the proposed guidelines is to create an environment in which physicians are encouraged to administer controlled substances in the course of treating chronic pain without fear of disciplinary action from this Board when such treatment is provided within the accepted community standard of care.

Mark Nanney, M.D., Chief Medical Consultant for the Arizona Medical Board, said he thought the forum was definitely worthwhile. “There was a good exchange of ideas on ways to improve (the guidelines),” Dr. Nanney said.

Carol Peairs, M.D., Board Certified in Pain Medicine and a Medical Consultant for the Board, stressed at the forum that the guidelines are not meant to restrict primary care physicians from treating pain patients, but to encourage appropriate treatment plans. Dr. Peairs said, “I believe (the guidelines) will be reassuring to a PCP who prescribes opioids for chronic pain.”

Board Staff will take the suggestions and public input and finalize the Draft Pain Management Guidelines for presentation to the Arizona Medical Board at its meeting on April 5th and 6th.