CIHR says 2017 opioid guideline ‘scientifically rigorous’

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The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) reports the 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, developed by the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre, provides unbiased, evidence-based guidance to clinicians on opioid prescribing practice.

CIHR’s review, requested by Health Canada, followed public questions about the guideline because of an administrative error which saw the conflict-of-interest of one voting member on the 15-member guideline panel not promptly identified.

Besides reviewing the process for the guideline development at McMaster, the CIHR review included a review of the decision to publish the guideline by the CMAJ and compared the guideline to a clinical guideline on opioids developed by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

The CIHR review found the Canadian guideline “scientifically rigorous”, adding the guideline “had many checks and balances in order to minimize undue influence on the final recommendation” and “CIHR concludes that the 2017 Canadian Guideline does provide unbiased, evidence-based guidance to clinicians on opioid prescribing practice that is aligned with international comparators.”

Jason Busse, principal investigator for the guideline and associate professor in the Department of Anesthesia, said the report speaks for itself.

“This is another independent review by a highly reputable organization which underscores the methodologic rigor that went into developing the recommendations of the guideline.”

The report may be found on the CIHR website.

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