The American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a very important new policy statement that details their position surrounding the prescribing of  opioids to cancer patients. This issue has taken the forefront of controversy as our society increasingly becomes concerned about the overuse of prescription opioids, sometimes leaving out the very specific needs of cancer patients.

In the statement, ASCO has indicated that they support the concern and efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse. However, ASCO has expressed concerned for cancer patients with legitimate need for these drugs and says that it will work to protect access to appropriate medical opioid therapy for patients with cancer without physicians being concerned about being harassed by government officials.

ASCO’s statement of policy tries to balance the very real public health concerns against the very significant needs of advanced cancer patients and survivors.

The statement makes it clear that cancer patients should be considered a special population and should be largely exempt from regulations restricting access to, or limiting doses of prescription opioids in recognit