To the editor:
Throughout rural Kansas, we know there are not enough options when it comes to our health care. Our elected leaders must do more to enact policies that provide more choices for our communities.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering updating its Opioid Prescribing Guideline. One of the policy proposals submitted to the CDC for consideration would give patients more options when it comes to pain management.
If opioids are recommended, the current Guideline does not differentiate between Schedule II and Schedule III opioids. However, Schedule III opioids are considered to have less risk for abuse and dependence than Schedule II.
Updating this federal guideline to recommend prescribers consider a Schedule III opioid before a Schedule II opioid would give our neighbors more choices when it comes to their health care.
We know that a one size fits all approach for patients – especially surrounding pain management – is not the right way to do things. Prescribers should provide choice for patients and consider drugs that offer less risk for addiction, abuse, and respiratory depression when offering solutions for pain management.
We must continue to implement common-sense, free-market solutions to solve our health-care issues in rural areas throughout this country, and updating this federal guideline would be a step in the right direction.
Tory Marie Arnberger