Opioid Workgroup – 2019

On December 4–5, 2019, a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (BSC/NCIPC) was held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. CDC provided a background presentationpdf icon on a potential update or expansion of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain —United States, 2016. CDC also provided a presentationpdf icon pertaining to the request that the BSC/NCIPC establish an Opioid Workgroup. The BSC/NCIPC listened to and considered both presentations and the public comments that followed, prior to voting to establish the Opioid Workgroup.  The workgroup will report to the BSC/NCIPC, which is a federal advisory committee.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Federal Advisory Committee Actpdf icon (Public Law 92-463), often referred to as “FACA”, provides a mechanism for experts and stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process, by offering advice and recommendations to the federal government as members of federal advisory committees. A federal advisory committee is defined as any committee, board, commission, council, conference, panel, task force, or other similar group, which is established by law, by the President, or by an agency official, and utilized to provide advice or recommendations to the President or the agency, on issues or policies within the scope of an agency’s responsibilities. Federal advisory committees must be engaged when federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seek consensus advice and recommendations from non-government individuals. Federal advisory committees are a key component of CDC’s overall strategy to achieve stakeholder and public engagement in its efforts and commitment to improve people’s health.

The Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (BSC/NCIPC) is one of the federal advisory committees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As one of the federal advisory committees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the BSC/NCIPC advises the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Director, CDC; and the Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), regarding surveillance, basic epidemiologic research, intervention research, and implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of promising and evidence-based strategies for the prevention of injury and violence. The BSC/NCIPC makes recommendations regarding policies, strategies, objectives, projects, and priorities and reviews progress toward injury and violence prevention. The BSC/NCIPC also works with other institutions to study the causes of and strategies related to the prevention of violence and injuries.

The Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (BSC/NCIPC) voted unanimously on December 4, 2019, to establish an Opioid Workgroup. The primary purpose of the Opioid Workgroup is to provide expert input and observations to the BSC/NCIPC on a possible update or expansion of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—United States, 2016.  The workgroup will help ensure broad, external, transparent input on the diverse and complex issues involved in considering a possible update or expansion of the 2016 guideline. In addition to completing tasks related to its primary purpose, the Opioid Workgroup may also provide expert input and observations on other matters which might arise related to the opioid crisis.

The Opioid Workgroup of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (BSC/NCIPC) will be made up of 12–20 people. The chair must be an appointed BSC/NCIPC member, and there must be at least one other Opioid Workgroup member who is an appointed member of the BSC/NCIPC. Remaining Opioid Workgroup members will be external experts who can enhance the expertise on the workgroup to assist the group in completing its tasks. A limited number of ad hoc members and federal representatives might also be considered to provide additional expert opinions. Like all workgroups formed by federal advisory committees, the Opioid Workgroup must have a Designated Federal Officer (DFO).  For this workgroup, the DFO will be a subject matter expert from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).

To be considered to serve as a member of the Opioid Workgroup of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, nominees should email their curriculum vitae and current contact information to NCIPCBSC@cdc.gov by or before Tuesday, February 4, 2020.

In seeking a balance of perspectives among prospective Opioid Workgroup members, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing to work to identify and ensure inclusion of audiences directly affected by the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain —United States, 2016, audiences that would be directly involved in implementing or integrating updated or expanded recommendations into current practice, and audiences qualified to provide representation of a specific discipline or expertise in alignment with the tasks of the workgroup.

Perspectives‡¶* of prospective Opioid Workgroup members that would support or enhance the workgroup’s capacity to complete tasks include, but are not limited to, those of the following groups (and must be balanced with considerations including workgroup size).

In alphabetical order, groups include:

  • Clinicians
  • Ethicists
  • Patients and Families*
  • Pharmacists/ Pharmacologists
  • Public health practitioners
  • Research scientists

‡ Given workgroup factors including size considerations, prospective members who offer two or more perspectives are desired.

CDC will exercise discretion regarding the appointment of workgroup members that is consistent with federal advisory committee management requirements.

* Perspectives will be sought to represent those of people experiencing benefit, harm, or both related to opioids prescribed for pain.

Processes involved in forming the Opioid Workgroup include that the Opioid Workgroup’s Designated Federal Officer (DFO) will:

  • Develop a list of prospective workgroup members (informed by sources including comments from BSC/NCIPC members during the December 4–5, 2019 public meeting and complete self-nominations received by or before February 4, 2020).
  • Request and review nominees’ disclosures of competing conflicts of interest, if any.
  • Develop a list of prospective Opioid Workgroup members, ensuring maximal breadth of expertise and diversity in perspectives.

Update the BSC/NCIPC on the formation of the Opioid Workgroup at a Spring 2020 meeting; this public meeting will be announced in the Federal Register.

Opioid Workgroup members will provide clinical and methodologic feedback on evidence reviews and a possible updated or expanded draft CDC opioid prescribing guideline. The Opioid Workgroup will provide a report summarizing the expert input/observations/findings obtained and present the report for BSC/NCIPC deliberation, discussion, modification (if determined by the BSC/NCIPC to be needed), and decision at a public meeting approximately one year following the Opioid Workgroup’s establishment in December 2019.

During a public meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (BSC/NCIPC) that will include public comment opportunities, the BSC/NCIPC members will review the Opioid Workgroup’s report and discuss, deliberate, and provide advice and recommendations regarding a possible updated or expanded draft opioid prescribing guideline to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the Director, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).  Following the public meeting, the report of the Opioid Workgroup will be posted on the BSC/NCIPC website. Revision of the possible updated or expanded draft guideline will be informed by the recommendations of the BSC/NCIPC and public comment during the BSC/NCIPC meeting. It is anticipated that any revised guideline will be posted for public comment in early 2021. Release of a final updated or expanded guideline would be anticipated to occur in late 2021.

Presentations related to the background and request for formation of the Opioid Workgroup are available here.  Presentations from future BSC/NCIPC public meetings will also be posted on this site as they become available.

Anyone who would like to receive information related to the ongoing work of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) specific to drug overdose prevention (including the ongoing response to the opioid overdose epidemic) as well as other updates (e.g., pertaining to resources and tools) may sign up at www.cdc.gov/emailupdates and select topics of interest.  Available offerings include:

  • Subscription Topics: Injury, Violence & Safety
  • Subtopic: Drug Overdose News