Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Policy statement on access to opioid medications

Statement on Opioid Use in Patients with Hematologic Diseases and Disorders, American Society of Hematology

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has urged caution as policymakers propose changes to laws and regulations surrounding the prescription of opioid medications.

While ASH leaders recognize that the opioid epidemic in United States is a public health emergency, opioid medications often can be the only effective method of controlling the pain associated with sickle cell disease, blood cancers, and other hematologic disorders.

ASH "supports a public health approach that improves the way opioids are prescribed and reduces misuse and overdose yet safeguards access to these drugs for acute and chronic pain treatment for individuals with certain clinical conditions.... Every patient should have access to the approved evidence-based treatments for their disease and associated symptoms as recommended by their physician. Patients should not suffer from a lack of recognition of their pain nor should they have to suffer unnecessary delays in obtaining access to appropriate medications for which there is no effective substitute. Patients should be treated accordingly based on the type of therapy recommended and/or the most appropriate delivery mechanism in consultation with their physician and in coordination with other members of their health care team. Additional research focused on acute and chronic pain in individuals with hematologic conditions, as well as research into new health care delivery strategies is critical to ensure that patients with pain receive timely, state of the art pain management. Barriers and physician disincentives regarding the management of pain in hematologic conditions must be avoided," according to the policy statement.

Read the article.


Statement on Opioid Use in Patients with Hematologic Diseases and Disorders, American Society of Hematology, April 18, 2018

This Week's Must Reads

Apixaban surpasses DOACs in very elderly patients, Deitelzweig SB et al. Circulation. 2018 Nov 6;138[suppl 1]:A14900

Sickle cell: Daily hydroxyurea safe in African children, Tshilolo L et al. ASH 2018, Abstract 3

Study supports long-term survival in multiple myeloma subgroup, Usmani SZ et al. Blood Cancer J. 2018 Nov 23;8(12):123

Similar VTE rates seen with tofacitinib, TNF inhibitors, Desai RJ et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018;70(suppl 10), Abstract L09

Recurrence risk high regardless of VTE classification, Albertsen IE et al. Am J Med. 2018 Sep;131(9):1067-74.e4

Must Reads in Practice Management

Oncology studies lack full disclosure of industry payments, Wayant C et al. JAMA Oncol. 2018 Aug 30. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.3738.

Improved myeloma outcomes associated with having prescription drug coverage, Olszewski A et al. J Clin Oncol. 2018 Aug 16. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2018.77.8894

For lymphoma patients, insurance is a matter of life or death , Goldstein JS et al. Blood. 2018 Jul 24. doi: 10.1182/blood-2018-03-839035

Expansion in clinical trial eligibility requested by ASCO, Friends of Cancer and ASCO letter to the FDA