FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2001
to Join Pain Advocates in Issuing Statement on Prescription Pain Medications
Prompted by Heightened Attention to
Abuse of Pain Relievers Such as OxyContin
is an opiate prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief associated
with cancer, chronic pain, and serious injuries.
The US Drug Enforcement
Administration and leading health organizations supporting pain management
will issue a joint statement on the use and abuse of prescription pain
medications at a press conference, Oct. 23, at the National Press Club
in Washington, D.C. Journalists from around the country not able to attend
in person may participate in this event by telephone on a live audio hook-up.
The joint statement is embargoed until 12:00 Noon EDT; Tuesday, Oct. 23.
This event will mark
the first time the DEA has signed on to a consensus statement developed
jointly with organizations supporting better pain management. These organizations
include groups representing physicians, pharmacists, nurses, anesthesiologists,
and patient advocates. Their collaboration is prompted by widespread attention
this year to the problem of diversion and abuse of opioid pain relievers.
These medications have proven essential to people with pain, including
many with chronic conditions or terminal illnesses.
The briefing is being
sponsored by Last Acts, the largest national coalition working to improve
care near the end of life. Last Acts receives funding from The Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation, the nations largest philanthropy devoted
exclusively to improving health and health care for all Americans.
Hutchinson, Administrator, DEA Dr. Russell Portenoy, Beth Israel Medical
Tom Menighan, President, American Pharmaceutical Assn. (the national
professional society of pharmacists)
Mary Vargas, chronic pain patient
Karen Orloff Kaplan (Moderator), National Program Director, Last Acts
Oct. 23, 2001
12:00 Noon EDT
First Amendment Room 529 14th St., NW
may attend in person or dial in by telephone 5-10 minutes before the
event begins. The dial-in number is 800-213-1352.
A taped replay of
the press conference will also be accessible for 24 hours after the event
by dialing 800-633-8284. When prompted, use the access code 19858309.
CONTACT: Carol Schadelbauer,
Mollie Katz, or Shantae Goodloe, 301-652-1558.
DEA Contact: Michael L. Chapman, Chief, Public Affairs, 202-307-7977
Enforcement Administration, 21 Health Groups Call for Balanced Policy
on Prescription Pain Medications Like OxyContin
Goal is to Protect
Legitimate Use of Prescription Drugs for Patients in Pain
(Oct. 23, 2001) -In an unprecedented collaboration, the US Drug Enforcement
Administration today joined 21 of the nations leading pain and health
organizations to call for a balanced policy governing prescription pain
medications such as OxyContin. DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson urged
a policy that protects the appropriate use of opioid pain relievers for
patients who need them while also preventing abuse and diversion of the
is available in four strengths (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg) as
a controlled-release tablet, the effects of which last approximately
12 hours, rendering it longer lasting and stronger than any other
oxycodone product on the market.
with groups representing physicians, nurses, pharmacists and patient advocates
at a press conference held to release a consensus statement on prescription
pain medications such as OxyContin, an opioid that has received wide attention
as a new drug of choice by substance abusers. Opioid analgesics are a
class of natural and synthetic medication that relieves moderate to severe
pain. The joint statement noted that for many patients, these drugs offer
the most effective way to treat their pain, and often the only option
that provides significant relief.
Because opioids are
one of several types of controlled substances that have potential for
abuse, they are carefully regulated by the DEA and other state agencies.
For example, a physician must be licensed by State medical authorities
and registered with the DEA before prescribing a controlled substance.
The issue of use
and abuse of prescription pain medications has heated up in Washington
D.C., as both Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have
scheduled hearings on the subject.
care professionals, and law enforcement and regulatory personnel, share
a responsibility for ensuring that prescription pain medications are available
to the patients who need them, and for preventing these drugs from becoming
a source of harm or abuse, the joint statement said.
want to cause patients who have legitimate needs for these medications,
to be discouraged or afraid to use them. And we dont want to restrict
doctors and pharmacists from providing these medications when appropriate,
Hutchinson said. At the same time, we must all take reasonable steps
to ensure that these powerful medications dont end up in the wrong
hands and lead to abuse. We want a balanced approach that addresses the
abuse problem without keeping patients from getting the care they need
accounts of misuse have skewed peoples perceptions about drugs like
OxyContin. The reality is that the vast majority of people who are given
these medications by doctors will not become addicted, said Russell
Portenoy, M.D., chairman of pain medicine and palliative care at Beth
Israel Medical Center in New York City. Unfortunately, some doctors
may now be frightened to prescribe these medications, pharmacists may
be reluctant to stock them, and patients may refuse to take them because
of fear of addiction and the new social stigma.
The DEA and health
groups also called for a renewed focus on educating health professionals,
law enforcement, and the public about the appropriate use of opioid pain
medications in order to promote both responsible prescribing practices
and limit instances of abuse and diversion.
For more information
about the press conference and a copy of the consensus statement visit
the Last Acts website at www.lastacts.org.
Pain Relief and Preventing Abuse of Pain Medications: A Critical Balancing
of the health care community and law enforcement, we are working together
to prevent abuse of prescription pain medications while ensuring that
they remain available for patients in need. Both healthcare professionals,
and law enforcement and regulatory personnel, share a responsibility for
ensuring that prescription pain medications are available to the patients
who need them and for preventing these drugs from becoming a source of
harm or abuse. We all must ensure that accurate information about both
the legitimate use and the abuse of prescription pain medications is made
available. The roles of both health professionals and law enforcement
personnel in maintaining this essential balance between patient care and
diversion prevention are critical.
can be purchased legally with prescription. Abusers also obtain the
drug illegally by stealing prescription pads at doctors offices
and forging prescriptions, stealing it from health care facilities
or pharmacies, and doctor shopping (visiting several different doctors,
sometimes in several states, and complaining of the same symptoms
in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for the drug.
Preventing drug abuse
is an important societal goal, but there is consensus, by law enforcement
agencies, health care practitioners, and patient advocates alike, that
it should not hinder patients ability to receive the care they need
This consensus statement
is necessary based on the following facts: Undertreatment of pain is a
serious problem in the United States, including pain among patients with
chronic conditions and those who are critically ill or near death. Effective
pain management is an integral and important aspect of quality medical
care, and pain should be treated aggressively. For many patients, opioid
analgesics - when used as recommended by established pain management guidelines
- are the most effective way to treat their pain, and often the only treatment
option that provides significant relief.
Because opioids are
one of several types of controlled substances that have potential for
abuse, they are carefully regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration
and other state agencies. For example, a physician must be licensed by
State medical authorities and registered with the DEA before prescribing
a controlled substance. In spite of regulatory controls, drug abusers
obtain these and other prescription medications by diverting them from
legitimate channels in several ways, including fraud, theft, forged prescriptions,
and via unscrupulous health professionals. Drug abuse is a serious problem.
Those who legally manufacture, distribute, prescribe and dispense controlled
substances must be mindful of and have respect for their inherent abuse
potential. Focusing only on the abuse potential of a drug, however, could
erroneously lead to the conclusion that these medications should be avoided
when medically indicated- generating a sense of fear rather than respect
for their legitimate properties.
nurses, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, law enforcement personnel
and the general public become more aware of both the use and abuse of
pain medications will enable all of us to make proper and wise decisions
regarding the treatment of pain.
has served as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration since
August 8, 2001. While serving his third term in the U .S. Congress, he
was tapped by President George W. Bush to join the Administration and
confirmed with a bipartisan vote of 98-1 in the United States Senate.
Asa Hutchinson practiced law in rural Arkansas for 21 years before being
elected to Congress in 1995. During that time, he was appointed by President
Ronald Reagan as U.S. Attorney for Western Arkansas. Mr. Hutchinson was,
at age 31, the youngest U.S. Attorney in the nation. While in Congress,
Mr. Hutchinson continued his leadership in the fight against drugs by
serving on the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence.
He served on the Speakers Task Force for a Drug-Free America charged
with finding new approaches to reduce drug use among the nations
youth. As head of the DEA, Mr. Hutchinson has concentrated on effective
enforcement strategies while recognizing the need for increased treatment
and education programs.
ORLOFF KAPLAN, M.P .H., Sc.D
Karen Orloff Kaplan, M.P .H., Sc.D., is the President and Chief Executive
Officer of Partnership for Caring: Americas Voices for the Dying
(PFC). She also serves as the National Program Director for Last Acts,
a communications campaign to improve end-of-life care sponsored by The
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Kaplan has special expertise in health
and aging issues, and in developing health and social policy. Prior to
her appointment as President and CEO of PFC, Dr. Kaplan served as Executive
Director of Choice In Dying, Inc., a 60 year old not for profit organization
known for developing living wills and for its advocacy for dying people
and their loved ones. Before CID, she was the founding Executive Director
of the National Center for Social Policy and Practice, the research and
policy arm of the 140,000-member National Association of Social Workers.
Dr. Kaplan received her Doctorate in Science and Masters in Public Health
degrees from the School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins
University. She received her Masters in Social Work from Ohio State University.
K. PORTENOY, M.D.
Russell Portenoy is Chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative
Care, Beth Israel Medical Center, and Professor of Neurology, Albert Einstein
College of Medicine. He is past president of the American Pain Society,
current Secretary of the International Association for the Study of Pain,
and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. He
has been an active clinical investigator in the field of opioid pharmacology
and pain epidemiology, and has published numerous articles related to
the use of opioids in nonmalignant pain and the interface between pain
and chemical dependency. He is author or editor of 12 books and more than
350 papers devoted to the field of pain management.
E. MENIGHAN, R.PH.
Thomas E. Menighan, APhA President, is CEO of SyrnRx, Inc., a start-up
company providing web-based technologies to pharmacies. As a founder and
owner of Pharmacy Associates, Inc. (Option Care WV), he and his partners
provide integrated infusion, respiratory, biotech, dietary and nursing
services. A 20-year Medicine Shoppe owner and former APhA Trustee, he
worked for APhA (1987-1992) as Senior Director and managed State Affairs,
Membership, APhA/SmithKline Beecham Community Pharmacy Management Program,
Public Relations, and business development. Menighan served (92-93)
as former executive of PharMark, a DUR company; Past President of West
Virginia Pharmacists Association and the West Virginia Pharmacy Services
Administration Organization. He received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy
degree from West Virginia University and his Masters in Business Administration
from Averett College. Awards include Preceptor of the Year, Bowl of Hygeia,
Beal Award, Outstanding Alumni, and Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.
Menighan is on WVUs Visiting Committee and active in APhA - Academy
of Pharmacy Practice and Management, and the National Council for State
Pharmacy Association Executives.
CAROLINE V ARGAS, J.D.
Mary Vargas is an attorney with the National Association of the Deaf Law
Center. She litigates on behalf of individuals who are deaf and hard of
hearing in cases alleging discrimination on the basis of disability pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and state
anti-discrimination laws. She focuses on education law, access to healthcare,
access to courts, access to public services, and employment law. She received
her JD from the University of Connecticut in 1998. Ms. Vargas has been
a chronic pain patient since July of 1996 when she was injured in a car
ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS
The physician members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
provide comprehensive, coordinated and continuing care to all members
of the family and serve as the patients advocate in the changing
health care system. Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents more than 93,100
family physicians, family practice residents and medical students nationwide.
It is the only medical specialty society devoted solely to primary care.
AAFP is located on the web at www.aafp.org.
Media Contact: Maureen
Phone: (202) 232-9033 or (888) 794-7481 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACADEMY OF HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE MEDICINE
AAHPM is an organization of physicians and other medical professionals
dedicated to excellence in palliative medicine and the prevention and
relief of suffering among patients and families by providing education
and clinical practice standards; fostering research; facilitating personal
and professional development of its members; and by public policy advocacy.
AAHPM, with nearly 1,500 members, was established in 1988 and brings together
physicians and other healthcare professionals who are interested in and/or
involved in the hospice and palliative care approach to patient care and
who are committed to the improvement of care for the dying. AAHPM is located
on the web at www.aahpm.org.
Media Contact: Richard
G. Muir, Executive Director Phone: (847) 375-4761
ACADEMY OF PAIN MEDICINE
The American Academy of Pain Medicine is the primary organization for
physicians practicing the specialty of Pain Medicine in the United States.
The mission of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) to promote
quality care of patients with pain as a symptom of disease (eudynia) and
primary pain diseases (maldynia) through research, education, and advocacy,
and through the advancement of the specialty of Pain Medicine. The American
Academy of Pain Medicine, with 1200 physician members, is the only pain
organization with representation in the American Medical Association (AMA)
House of Delegates. AAPM is located on the web at www.painmed.org.
Media Contact: Kris
Phone: (847) 375-4731
ALLIANCE OF CANCER PAIN INITIATIVES
The American Alliance of Cancer Pain Initiatives (AACPI) is a national
nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting cancer pain relief nationwide
by supporting the efforts of state and regional Pain Initiatives. Pain
Initiatives are voluntary, grassroots organizations of health care professionals,
educators, and patient advocates. Pain Initiatives provide education,
training, and information to health care providers, cancer patients and
their families. AACPI is located on the web at www.aacpi.org.
Media Contact: Matt
Phone: (608) 265-8655
The American Cancer Society is the largest nationwide community-based
voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major
health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering
from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service. For information
about cancer, call toll free anytime 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit the American
Cancer Society website at www.cancer.org.
Media contact: Rachel
Phone: (202) 661-5710
The American Medical Association was founded in 1847 to promote
the science and art of medicine and the betterment of public health.
The AMA is the largest association of physicians in the United States,
with more than 290,000 members. For more than 150 years the physicians
of the AMA have guided and guarded American medicine. The AMA serves as
the nations preeminent voice for patients, physicians and the medical
profession. The AMA is located on the web at www.ama-assn.org.
Media Contact: Ross
Phone: (312) 464-4443
APF is the nations leading nonprofit organization serving people
with pain. Our mission is to improve the quality of their lives by raising
public awareness, providing practical information, promoting research,
and advocating to remove barriers and increase access to effective pain
management. Founded in 1997 by three past presidents of the American Pain
Society, APF offers a comprehensive consumer-focused website that includes
information about treatment options, news stories, legislative updates,
and links to over 200 websites. APF also serves as a media resource. We
provide journalists with: the latest facts and information about pain
and story ideas.
SOCIETY OF LAW, MEDICINE & ETHICS
ASLME provides a forum for high-quality debate, scholarship, and critical
thought for the community of professionals at the intersection of law,
health care, and ethics. The Society was founded in 1911. A nonprofit
educational organization, ASLMEs membership includes attorneys,
physicians, ethicists, nurses, allied health professionals, hospital administrators,
risk managers, social workers, academics, and students who come together
to examine the crucial questions of our times. ASLME has engaged in and
helped shaped the dialogue at the national level, dealing with such varied
issues as managed care decision making and utilization, medical record
privacy, pediatric controversies, end-of-life decision making, implications
of the human genome project, and pain undertreatment. ASLME is located
on the web at www.aslme.org.
Media Contact: Ben
Moulton, Executive Director Phone: ( 617) 262-4990
SOCIETY OF PAIN MANAGEMENT NURSES
The American Society of Pain Management Nurses (ASPMN) is an organization
of professional nurses dedicated to promoting and providing optimal care
of patients with pain, including management of its sequelae. This is accomplished
through education, standards, advocacy and research. ASPMN is located
on the web at www.aspmn.org.
Media Contact: Kelieta
Stephens Phone: (888) 342- 7766
SOCIETY OF REGIONAL ANESTHESIA AND PAIN MEDICINE
The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine is entering
its 27th year of providing high quality educational activities for physicians
interested in regional anesthesia and/or pain medicine. ASRA-PM has 7,000
members from around the world with the majority from the U.S. More information
about the society is available at www.asra.com
or by contacting email@example.com
Media Contact: Stewart
A. Hinckley, Executive Director Phone: (804) 282-0010, Ext. 307 Email:
PARTNERSHIPS TO IMPROVE END-OF-LIFE CARE
Community-State Partnerships to Improve End-of-Life Care supports
statewide coalitions working to make high quality and compassionate care
for dying patients the norm, not the exception. A grant program funded
by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Community-State Partnerships
is based on the belief that the actions and decisions of individual patients,
families and health care professionals regarding end-of-life care can
be greatly enhanced if they take place within a supportive cultural, clinical
and policy environment. CSPI is located on the web at www.midbio.org.
Media Contact: Carolen
Collins Phone: (816) 842-7110 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the primary agency responsible
for enforcing the Controlled Substances Act. The DEAs mission is
to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the U.S.
and to bring to the criminal and civil justice system organizations and
individuals engaged in illicit drug trafficking. The Controlled Substances
Act also charges the DEA with the prevention, detection, and investigation
of the diversion of controlled substances from legitimate channels, while
at the same time ensuring that adequate supplies are available to meet
legitimate domestic medical, scientific, and industrial needs. DEA is
located on the web at www.dea.gov.
Media Contact: Michael
L. Chapman, Chief, Public Affairs, Phone: (202) 307-7977
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and with Rosalynn
Carter as its Honorary Chair, Last Acts® is a multifaceted
campaign to raise awareness about end-of-life issues among health professionals
and the public and to engage them in improving care and caring near the
end of life. At the heart of the campaign is a coalition of more than
800 national and local professional and consumer organizations -Partners
-that share a commitment to improving care for dying people and their
families. Last Acts speeds the entry of new knowledge into the field,
and serves as a neutral forum for discussion of important issues and a
catalyst that both informs and promotes change at every level of society
Last Acts® is located on the web at www.lastacts.org.
Media Contact: Mollie
Phone: (301) 652-1558
The Midwest Bioethics Center provides leadership and educational programs
to healthcare professionals, policymakers and consumers about ethical
issues and moral dilemmas in modern healthcare. Established in 1984 as
a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization, the center was founded
to create and sustain an environment in which decisions related to human
health are based on respect for persons and informed by an understanding
of ethics. Midwest Bioethics Center is located on the web at www.midbio.org.
Media Contact: Carolen
Collins Phone: (816) 842-7110 Email: email@example.com
ACADEMY OF ELDER LAW ATTORNEYS
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. is a non-profit association
of over 3500 members, which assists lawyers, bar organizations and others
who work with older clients and their families. Established in 1987, the
Academy provides a resource of information, education, networking and
assistance to those who must deal with the many specialized issues involved
with legal services to the elderly and disabled. NAELA is located on the
web at www.naela.org.
Media Contact: Jihane
Rohrbacker Phone: (520) 881-4005 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE ORGANIZATION
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is the largest nonprofit
membership organization for hospice and palliative care programs and professionals
in the United States. The organization is committed to improving end-of-life
care, expanding access to hospice and palliative care, and profoundly
enhancing quality of life for the dying and their loved ones. NHPCO is
located on the web at www.nhpco.org.
Media Contact: John
Phone: (703) 837-3139
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is the largest professional membership
oncology association in the world. ONS is a national organization of more
than 29,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals dedicated
to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care. Headquartered
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ONS provides nurses and healthcare professionals
with access to the highest quality programs, resources, research opportunities,
and peer networks. ONS is located on the web at www.ons.org.
Media Contact: Hank
Phone: (412) 921-7373, Ext. 483 Email: email@example.com
Partnership for Caring: Americas Voices for the Dying is a national
nonprofit organization that partners individuals an over the country and
organizations in a powerful collaboration to improve care and caring near
the end of life. Among other services, Partnership for Caring operates
the only national crisis and informational hotline dealing with end-of-life
issues and provides state-specific living wills and medical powers of
attorney. Partnership for Caring unites the many voices of its partners
and collaborators to demand that society improve how it cares for dying
people and their loved ones. Partnership for Caring is located on the
web at www.partnership.org.
Media Contact: M.
Garey Bakes Phone: (202) 296-8071
OF WISCONSIN PAIN & POLICY STUDIES GROUP
The Pain & Policy Studies Group is a university-based academic research,
education, and communications program located in the Comprehensive Cancer
Center at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. Our vision is that
pain management will be adequately available when and where it is needed
so that people who suffer pain from cancer, AIDS, surgery, accidents,
and chronic conditions will have relief from their pain, improved functioning,
and a better quality of life. Our mission is to promote balance
in national and state policies to ensure adequate availability of opioid
analgesics and their appropriate medical use for patient care while addressing
diversion and abuse. PPSG is located on the web at www.medsch.wisc.edu/painpolicy.
Media contact: David
B. Joranson, Director Phone: (608) 263-7662