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November 28, 2012

Continuing Education in Opioid Prescribing

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehab, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas (Dr Grabois); and CRILiftree, Salt Lake City, Utah (Dr Webster; lrwebstermd@gmail.com).

JAMA. 2012;308(20):2082-2083. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.13750

To the Editor: The Viewpoint by Drs Nelson and Perrone1 raised concerns about the industry-sponsored education requirement proposed by the new REMS from the FDA. Both education and research into pain and addiction treatment remain underfunded, with serious consequences.

We acknowledge a potential bias when industry funds CME, but this is the current system of prescriber education in the United States. Unfortunately, government and industry are currently the only 2 viable funding sources that exist, and despite the need of 100 million patients in the United States in chronic pain,2 there remain serious gaps in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in pain and addiction medicine and a paucity of non–industry-funded mid-career education.