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AMA News Room

Sept. 18, 2013

AMA to Hold Webinar on Genetic Factors Affecting Patient Response to Opioids

For immediate release:
Sept. 18, 2013

Free information to help physicians understand how genetic information affects patient response to opioid analgesics

CHICAGO -- The American Medical Association (AMA), as part of its commitment to providing resources and tools to advance the practice of medicine, will host a free webinar about the intersection of pain management and pharmacogenetics, the study of genetic variation in drug response. This activity is part of a series of AMA webinars on topics related to responsible opioid prescribing.
“Prescription drug abuse is a serious epidemic that cannot be ignored, and any action we take to curb it must ensure that patients suffering from chronic pain get the treatment they need,” said AMA Immediate Past President Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. “The AMA is pleased to offer a series of webinars to help physicians combat prescription drug abuse and promote responsible pain management.”

While overuse and misuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem, a great deal of human pain and suffering remains inadequately treated. According to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Many of these chronic pain sufferers need prescription opioids to function in their day-to-day lives.

Genetic mutations have been linked to the variability of responses to opioids because of altered opioid receptors in the brain and the metabolic changes they cause, among other factors. Pharmacogenetic studies also support the use of opioid rotation in patients with certain genetic variants who experience diminishing pain relief or intolerable side effects.

The webinar will explain the genetic foundation and clinical importance of certain genetic variations and how they can impact a patient’s reaction to opioids. It will also explain how pharmacogenetic research may ultimately inform clinical decision-making in pain management. The webinar will be held on September 25 at 1 p.m. EDT, and will be archived online for on-demand viewing after September 25.

The program is being offered free thanks to funding from the collaborative for the Prescriber Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies. Register for the webinar online.



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

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