NCMB Adopts New Policy on Opioid Prescribing

The North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) has adopted a comprehensive new position statement on treating pain with prescription opioid medications. The old policy had not been updated since 2008. The new policy is in effect as of this month, June 2014.

The new Policy for the use of opiates for the treatment of pain (PDF) breaks new ground for NCMB position statements because it provides more specific clinical guidance and information about Board expectations for patient management than is typically contained in a position statement.

Inappropriate prescribing of opioid medications is one of the most serious quality of care issues the Board addresses, and accounts for a significant percentage of adverse public action each year. The NCMB hopes that by making more comprehensive guidelines available to licensees who treat pain, they will encourage more responsible prescribing, reduce deaths from accidental overdose and avoid regulatory problems for prescribers.

The new policy draws heavily on the Federation of State Medical Board’s model policy on the topic.


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