Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

AG Balderas tells US Dept. of Health that new draft drug report is dangerous, potentially deadly for New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28th, 2019

 Contact: David Carl (505) 288-2465

Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas sent a letter to the United States
Department of Health and Human Services sharing concerns about the Pain Management Best
Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report. AG Balderas, and 35 additional Attorneys
General believe that the draft report, sent to the chief medical officer for the Office of the
Assistant Secretary of Health, weakens guidelines published by the CDC, believes reports should
be aimed at decreasing the risk of opioid misuse in the United States.
“The opioid crisis has been devastating on our public health, social services and criminal justice
systems,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “The suggestion that opioid providers can
make up their own minds on distribution levels is incredibly dangerous considering their past
practices. This will make a horrific opioid crisis even more deadly.”
As it stands, the Draft Report deviates from CDC guidelines, which are aimed at decreasing the
risk of opioid misuse. The report suggests providers can rely solely on their judgement instead of
consulting evidence-based recommendations. By doing so, it weakens recommendations for
opioid prescription duration and dosage.
AG Balderas and the 35 additional Attorneys General list several other concerns, including that
HHS does not provide a reason for departing from evidence-based CDC guidelines and does not
explicitly state that there is no completely safe opioid dosage.

Raul Torrez

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