Painkiller critics take aim at hospital surveys, procedures

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Critics of how prescription painkillers are administered in the U.S. are calling on health officials to phase out hospital procedures and questionnaires used to manage pain.

They say the current system inadvertently encourages the overprescribing of addictive drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin and is fueling an epidemic of overdoses tied to the opioid medications.

More than five dozen non-profit groups and medical experts sent a letter Wednesday to the Joint Commission, a non-profit agency that accredits U.S. hospitals, asking it to revisit its standards for pain management.

The letter specifically takes issue with guidelines instructing doctors to routinely ask patients to assess their pain.