FDA proposes that doctors learn about acupuncture for pain management
Chiropractors and acupuncturists who have lobbied for a bigger role in treating pain have won a preliminary endorsement from federal health officials.
The FDA released proposed changes Wednesday to its blueprint on educating health care providers about treating pain. The guidelines now recommend that doctors get information about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid prescription opioids.
“[Health care providers] should be knowledgeable about the range of available therapies, when they may be helpful, and when they should be used as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management,” the agency wrote in the proposal.
The suggested changes come as chiropractors and other alternative medicine providers have stepped up lobbying Congress and state legislatures to elevate their role in treating chronic pain. They’ve scored several big victories in recent years.
The FDA’s draft blueprint isn’t final — and drug makers, doctors, and alternative medicine providers will all have a chance to weigh in. The FDA will take public comments through July 10.
The blueprint released this week is part of a strategy the FDA rolled out in 2011 to address a crisis of prescription drug abuse.
This article was first published on May 10, 2017 here.