NIH Study Finds Evidence Of Opioid Drugs’ Effectiveness For Chronic Pain Lacking

NIH Study Finds Evidence Of Opioid Drugs’ Effectiveness For Chronic Pain Lacking
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) white paper released this week reports that researchers have been unsuccessful in finding more than a little, if any evidence supporting the effectiveness of opioid drugs in treating long-term chronic pain, notwithstanding widespread growth in prescribing them for managing that type of pain. The NIH paper incorporates the summary report of a seven-member expert panel the NIH appointed last September, which determined that that many studies cited as support for prescribing these drugs have been either poorly-conducted or of insufficient scope and focus. steffensd"That makes prolific use of these drugs surprising," observes Dr. David Steffens, chair of the psychiatry department at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut (UConn Health) and one of the NIH opoid study's co-authors. "When it comes to long-term pain," says Dr. Steffens in a UConn release, "there's no research-based evidence that these medicines are helpful." Nevertheless, the report, which was cosponsored by the NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP), the NIH Pain Consortium, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, notes that more than 219 opioid drug (AKA opiates; the two terms have respective technical distinctions, but tend to be used interchangeably by most physicians) presc
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