Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS Statement on the Board of Registration in Medicine’s Emergency Regulation on Hydrocodone

MMS Statement on the Board of Registration in Medicine’s Emergency Regulation on Hydrocodone

Richard P. Gulla
(781) 434-7101

Statement by Ronald W. Dunlap, MD, FACC, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, on the Board of Registration in Medicine's emergency regulations on the prescribing of hydrocodone (Zohydro):

"Physicians recognize the severity of the problem of prescription abuse in the Commonwealth and support the Board of Registration in Medicine’s emergency regulation on hydrocodone.  Any new form of painkiller should be the subject of legitimate discussion about its use and potential impact in clinical practice and its potential for addiction.

"We must also recognize that the treatment of pain is complex and individualized for each patient, and that a balance must be achieved between pain management and overprescribing so that patients who can truly benefit from such medications may be able to do so. Opioids are important therapies to treat acute pain after trauma or surgery, as well as to manage chronic pain, including end-of-life care. Today’s action will lead to a full regulatory review and public hearing in the near future during which evidence and options may be fully presented for the development of final regulations.”

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with more than 24,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society, under the auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and NEJM Journal Watch alerts and publications covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education for health care professionals throughout Massachusetts, conducting a variety of medical education programs for physicians and health care professionals. Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country.

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