Several weeks ago I was approached by some colleagues to participate in a CME activity that would be presented as a debate between Physicians for Responsible Prescribing and Professionals for Rational Opioid Monitoring and Pharmacotherapy (PROMPT) at the PainWeek national conference. Faculty was told that the primary focus of that debate panel would be clinical, and the number of clinicians balanced equally (2 aligned with PROP, 2 with PROMPT). Two other panelists, non-clinicians, were also on the panel to complement the discussion (one, a social scientist who conducts research on governmental intervention in prescribing and who originally suggested the panel debate), and an epidemiologist who studies and has published articles which examine the link between opioids and unintentional overdose deaths. The epidemiologist presumably would provide insight into the methodological issues concerning the link between opioids and unintentional overdose deaths.
In the last couple of weeks, the debate title and format, as outlined above, had to shift gears because of the last minute “misgivings” on the part of certain non-PROMPT faculty participants. In the last few days, the initial press release, which nicely outlined the original intent and title of the program as a part of Opioid Safety Day, was removed from the Internet by specific request.
Still, “the show will go on” and promises to be very dynamic.
Because of multiple queries to me asking why this has changed, who backed out, and what’s the new plan, I felt obligated to allay qualms about the information and intention that the program will still offer, and to clarify certain points.
The new title is “The Great Divide: The Debate on Long-Term Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Noncancer Pain. The program will be a discussion about the differing views of this controversial topic, and will touch upon recent activities of the two practitioner groups who are most vocal in the controversy, as seen by ubiquitous Internet and media coverage over opioid safety for chronic noncancer pain). Since they declined to participate, there will be no representation from PROP; and the PAINWeek panel will articulate the differing perspectives on the efficacy and risks regarding their long-term use in noncancer pain therapy.
So today I leave you with the top ten issues of clarification:
- PROMPT appreciates the opportunity to represent its views in an open forum
- PROMPT has made a commitment to participate and will honor that promise
- PROMPT is a “real” organization that represents legitimate opinions of clinical and non-clinical stakeholders in pain management
- PROMPT’s goal in the world is not to undermine any organization that maintains a different world view
- Nobody can guarantee that either side will benefit from a discussion or a debate on this topic
- It’s not about two groups or organizations; it’s about timely and relevant education that addresses contrasting opinions on long-term opioid prescribing for chronic noncancer pain
- It makes sense to have two neutral non-clinicians and an academic, well-respected moderator.
- Good, bad, or indifferent; we are here for the patients, not for selfish personal or group gain.
- We anticipate a substantial turnout with a robust Q&A session
- PROMPT is looking forward to your participation. See you in Vegas!
Please visit www.painweek.org for more information on the PAINWeek 2013 national conference. And, See Dr. Michael Clark’s comments regarding PAINWeek 2012 on Youtube HERE. This year should be even better if that’s possible!