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AMA News Room

June 26, 2013

AMA Releases Updated Pain Management Education Program

For immediate release:
June 26, 2013

Emphasizes balance between appropriate pain management and prevention of prescription drug abuse and diversion

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) is now offering an updated pain management education program to provide physicians with up-to-date information on the assessment and management of pain. Funding for this update was made possible by support from the Prescribers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies, a group of health care organizations led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry that received grant funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Maintaining an understanding of appropriate pain management can better help physicians ensure legitimate patients get the pain relief they need while helping to prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion,” said AMA Immediate Past President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD. “Over the past decade, the AMA has offered pain management training to prescribers, and this updated educational program will help physicians better develop the skills needed to evaluate and manage patients with persistent pain.”

Misuse, abuse, addiction and unintentional poisonings from prescription opioids are a serious public health problem, and at the same time, a great deal of human pain and suffering remains inadequately treated. Pain is the most common reason patients seek medical attention; according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Although some of these chronic pain sufferers benefit from prescription opioids on a long term basis, many others do not benefit or suffer harm. A multidisciplinary approach is often needed to manage these patients.

This updated continuing medical education (CME) series is a comprehensive educational resource comprised of 12 modules addressing numerous, clinically important aspects of pain management. Subjects covered include pain mechanisms and assessment, an overview of management options and the management of cancer and persistent non-cancer pain, including neuropathic pain. The universal precautions approach to the clinical use of opioid analgesics is explained, as is the need to appropriately structure therapy and manage the risks associated with these substances. Other modules focus on specific populations, disorders or conditions. Physicians can complete the modules that address the specific needs of their practice and patients. This activity has been certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™.

The AMA also offers physicians other educational resources to help combat prescription drug abuse and diversion. The AMA currently offers archived webinars on topics addressing responsible opioid prescribing and will be releasing more over the next two years.

Access the pain management CME.

Access the AMA’s webinars related to responsible opioid prescribing.

To learn more about the AMA’s efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and diversion, visit www.ama-assn.org/go/stopdrugabuse.

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Shannon (O'Brien) Breymaier
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-4443

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