The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) offered recommendations for creating opioid prescribing guidelines in a new report.
The FDA-commissioned report suggests ways to evaluate opioid prescribing for acute pain to support guidelines for clinical practice.
NASEM recommended reporting opioid prescriptions as morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) to “facilitate evaluation of different opioids based on analgesic potency.”
NASEM also called for researchers working on opioid prescribing strategies for acute pain to consider both intermediate outcomes — such as pills prescribed and unused and long-term opioid use — and short- and long-term outcomes, including mortality, overdose, opioid use disorder, pain and function in patients and the population.
CDER Director Janet Woodcock welcomed the report and said the FDA plans to push for “right size” prescribing. She stressed that there are still too many opioids being prescribed for longer durations than most patients need for their conditions.