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Guidelines for the use of controlled substances

The patient, the physician and pain control

The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice continues to be active in the education of physicians about pain management.

The Board has in the past provided educational seminars and guidelines about the proper use of controlled substances. The Board has emphasized that physicians should not be afraid to prescribe controlled substances. Physicians however have been reluctant to prescribe controlled substances due to fear of reprisals in the form of hostile scrutiny or regulatory action against their licenses.

The Board wants to emphasize that proper use of controlled substances will not result in any action against the physician. It is in the best interest of the patient to have proper pain control.

Therefore, the Board wants to make physicians aware of the updated version of the Model Guidelines for pain control published by the Federation of Medical Boards. These guidelines are linked below.

Physicians should not avoid the prescribing of controlled substances provided that they have done a thorough work-up as well as the appropriate follow up. The physician needs to have complete documentation of each step.

The Federation guidelines for pain management are a guidelines for physicians. They are not rules or laws. They should be used as a way to improve pain management for our patients. These guidelines are not used as part of an enforcement process.

The Board wants the physician to use these guidelines as a way to improve pain management of our patients.  The Board hopes that you find the guidelines useful.

Burt Schwartz, MD, F.A.C.P.
Board President

Model Policy for the Use of Controlled Substances for the Treatment of Pain (PDF)