Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2017) – The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has released its updated “Guidelines for the Chronic Use of Opioid Analgesics.” The guidelines were officially adopted as policy by the FSMB House of Delegates at the FSMB’s Annual Meeting last month in Fort Worth, Texas.

The FSMB engaged with experts in pain medicine and addiction, government officials and other thought leaders over the past year and a half to conduct a thorough review and analysis of FSMB’s existing policy and other state and federal guidance documents on the prescribing of opioids in the treatment of pain. The workgroup, led by former FSMB Chair, J. Daniel Gifford, MD, FACP, identified its own recommendations as well as those included in recent advisories released by the FDA and the CDC’s March 2016  “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

“As our nation’s opioid epidemic worsens, it is critical that state medical and osteopathic boards - and the physicians and physician assistants they license and regulate - have updated guidance on the responsible management of chronic pain,” said FSMB President and CEO, Humayun Chaudhry, DO, MACP. “It is also critically important for clinicians to assess whether opioid analgesics, when prescribed by them, are not being abused, misused or diverted.”

State medical boards play a crucial and unparalleled role in protecting the public,” said Gregory B. Snyder, MD, Chair of the FSMB Board of Directors. “These updated guidelines will provide the medical regulatory community with the knowledge and tools we need to help prevent this crisis from progressing in communities across our country.”

The guidelines feature updated criteria for use by state medical boards in the following areas:

  • Patient assessments, evaluations and ongoing monitoring
  • Use of treatment agreements
  • Query to state prescription drug monitoring programs
  • Decision to initiate and discontinue opioid therapy
  • Concurrent use of benzodiazepines and opioids
  • Prescribing naloxone and methadone

To read the updated Guidelines for Chronic Use of Opioid Analgesics, click here. If you are interested in learning more about all of FSMB’s officially adopted policy guidelines, please click here.


About the Federation of State Medical Boards

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is a national non-profit organization representing all medical boards within the United States and its territories that license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic physicians and, in some jurisdictions, other health care professionals. The FSMB serves as the voice for state medical boards, supporting them through education, assessment, research and advocacy while providing services and initiatives that promote patient safety, quality health care and regulatory best practices. To learn more about FSMB, visit You can also follow FSMB on Twitter (@theFSMB).