Public Health Groups Urge Lawmakers Not to Reduce Access to Effective Pain Treatments

April 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 14, 2011 – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), together with several organizations representing people living with pain, sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives today urging lawmakers to maintain patient access to opioid medicines -- pain relieving drugs that have benefits when properly used.

In the letter, which was sent in advance of a hearing on pain treatment in the Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the groups agree that the non-medical use of prescription opioids, such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone, is a serious public health issue. But they oppose the strategy proposed in H.R. 1316, a bill that would limit the medication’s indicated use to treat only “severe” pain. Restricting access to the medication would take a safe and effective medicine away from millions of people living with moderate pain. The letter asked the committee to expand its review and consider the value of these medicines for people with pain who take them as properly prescribed.

Read the full text of the letter for more information.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

Steven Weiss or Lauren Walens
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5711 or (202) 661-5763
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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