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AMA News Room

Nov. 19, 2013

AMA Will Urge Greater CDC Role in Combating Prescription Drug Abuse

For immediate release:
Nov. 19, 2013

WASHINGTON – Physicians at the Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) today voted to endorse a proposal for a more constructive public health approach to preventing deaths from prescription pain medications. The proposal calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help fill the gap for actionable information needed to develop appropriate solutions to address prescription drug abuse.

"The AMA will urge the CDC to take the lead in promoting a standard approach for documenting and assessing unintentional poisonings and deaths involving controlled substances for pain relief," said AMA Board Member Patrice Harris, M.D. "If we are to effectively fight this public health epidemic, we must have a system of data collection and analysis that provides more detailed information on the contributing factors."

A standardized system of data collection and analysis has helped public health officials, law enforcement and policy makers address other national epidemics, and the CDC is in a unique position to promote a standard research approach that can identify key patterns and guide effective preventive measures.

"As an organization dedicated to patient care, the AMA is committed to combating prescription drug abuse and diversion," said Dr. Harris. "A public health focus is essential to finding the critical solutions needed to go beyond the staid strategies of restriction and limitation that inhibit legitimate patient access to pain treatments."

The AMA hosts a free webinar to help physicians better understand trends in unintentional prescription opioid overdoses and the public health response.

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Contact:
Robert Mills
AMA Media Relations and Editorial
(312) 464-4430
Robert.Mills@ama-assn.org

 

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