Report: Indiana Improving Its Pain Management Policies

Jul 21, 2014

The state still doesn't get an A grade, but it does appear to be improving.
Credit Erich Ferdinand /

The American Cancer Society says Indiana has improved significantly when it comes to pain management policies.  But a report from the Society’s Cancer Action Network says the state still has more to do.

There are only eight states that received less than a B from the Cancer Action Network in its report on pain management and patient care policies.  Indiana moved this year from a C-plus to a B. 

Network Associate Director David Woodmansee says that’s because of a new step taken by the State Medical Board.

“Your medical board there in the state passed a provision which recognized that the goal of pain treatment and management – the foremost goal – should be improving a patient’s quality of life," he says.  "And that is so important.”

But the state is also focused on solving the problem of prescription drug abuse…a major part of which is over-prescribed pain medication that’s later abused.  Woodmansee acknowledges that state policies must find a balance between pain management and prescription drug abuse prevention.

“While we certainly encourage other, non-medication avenues for pursuing pain management, we want to make sure that, for those that have no choice but prescription drugs, that option is on the table and available for those that really have no other option,” Woodmansee says.

Woodmansee says to move to an A, Indiana should clear up what he calls “technical ambiguities” in its controlled substance act and adopt a model policy developed by the Federation of State Medical Boards.