PCORI hosted two concurrent multi-stakeholder workshops to discuss whether comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) can help to answer questions surrounding long-term use of opioids. We asked representatives of a wide range of stakeholder groups, including patients, caregivers, clinicians, industry, payers, and researchers to participate in this discussion.

Recently, the National Institutes of Health convened a Pathways to Prevention Workshop to examine the role of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain. In addition, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality commissioned a systematic review on the benefits and harms of opioid therapy for chronic pain. Results from the systematic review suggest that additional research is needed that focuses on the following:

  1. opioid dosing strategies;
  2. opioid assessment and risk mitigation tools;
  3. long-term opioid treatment in high risk patients; and
  4. alternatives to opioid use as long-term strategies for pain relief.

With a lack of evidence on the comparative effectiveness of various long-acting opioids and the associated harms, well-designed studies are needed urgently. The new information gathered from subsequent studies will have the potential to improve the current evidence-base.

To address these complex issues, we host two multi-stakeholder workshops. One workshop discussed CER questions focusing on pharmacologic treatment options and dosing strategies. The second workshop focused on CER questions around non-pharmacologic options, risk assessment/risk mitigation strategies, and opioid dependency. 

In-person attendance was by invitation only, but the public was welcome to listen in via teleconference/webinar.

Meeting Materials

Teleconference Audio Recording

Teleconference Audio Recording