In Bad Faith: The Influence of PROP and CDC on Failed National Opioid Policy

Over the last 2-3 years, diligent analyses of the causes of overdose deaths attributed to opioids have shown that illegal drug - especially illicit fentalogues and heroin - are the driving force behind these deaths, rather than prescription pain medications. Despite this, the anti-opioid group, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) has persistently supported a false narrative that prescription opioids drive overdose deaths in the United States. An insider’s examination of the creation of the Center for Disease Control 2016 Pain Guidelines reveals a lack of transparency and disproportionate influence by PROP in a way that suggests the Guidelines were conceived in bad faith. This analysis examines the creation of the Pain Guidelines and describes material conflicts of interest downplayed by the CDC until harms from the Guidelines became clear and were brought to light by stakeholders, including those in the palliative care community. The discussion explores on the negative effects of the CDC Pain Guidelines for patients in chronic pain, including those receiving palliative care, and it offers insight into serious concerns and hopes for balanced national opioid policy in the future.

Target Audience

Hospice Medical Directors
HPM Physicians
Nurse Practitioners
Professionals in Training

Learning Outcomes

Learners will evaluate and analyze:

  • The true nature of the Overdose Crisis and how US Opioid Policy has failed to reduce overdose deaths
  • The process that resulted in the creation of the 2016 CDC Pain Guidelines with disproportionate influence from PROP
  • How the CDC Pain Guidelines have been misapplied in a way that has harmed patients
  • The rationale for recommendations to improve US Opioid Policy in the future
Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 CME (physician only)
  • 1.00 Participation
Activity Published: 
Activity Expires: 
Member cost:
List Price:


AAHPM endorses the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for disclosure and commercial support and endeavors to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor for all accredited products or programs. All who are in a position to control or influence the content of an educational activity must disclose any relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.*Disclosure documents were reviewed for potential conflicts of interest and, if identified, were resolved prior to confirmation of participation. Only those who had no conflict of interest or who agreed to an identified resolution process prior to their participation were involved in this activity.

All editors, faculty and staff have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

*An ineligible company is defined as any entity producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing healthcare goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. 


Content Editors
Julie Bruno, MSW LCSW
Julie Tanner, BSN RN-BC CHPN

Stephanie Adams
Leah Farfan
Theresa Nissen
Julie Tanner, BSN RN-BC CHPN
Angie Tryfonopoulos


Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) designates this Enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CME credits expire January 31, 2025.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

This recorded activity does not offer MOC.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 CME (physician only)
  • 1.00 Participation


Member cost:
List Price:
Please login or register to take this course.