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AMA News Room

July 2, 2014

AMA Statement on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs Report Regarding Prescription Drug Abuse and Prevention

For immediate release:
July 2, 2014

Statement attributed to:
Robert M. Wah, MD
President, American Medical Association

"The American Medical Association (AMA) strongly agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that we need to put a stop to pill mills and illegal prescribing practices. This must include a strong emphasis on increasing access to substance abuse treatment and prevention efforts across the nation and this new data will help provide states and public health authorities with important information that can be used to reduce the crisis of prescription drug abuse, diversion, overdose and death.

"We recognize that this is a multipronged problem and have long-advocated for an evidence-based, public health approach to address this crisis, and we continue to work with national organizations such as the National Governors Association to advance such an approach. Just last week, the AMA took part in a summit at the White House on federal and state responses to the nation's heroin and prescription drugs problem with Attorney General Eric Holder and Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli. Several elements of our policy are echoed in the CDC recommendations.  

"To combat this public health epidemic, the AMA supports enhanced educational opportunities for physicians and robust prevention efforts such as improved clinical decision support tools at the point of care through modernized and fully funded prescription drug monitoring programs that allow physicians to track their patients care in real-time, broader implementation of take-back programs and overdose prevention measures such as increased access to the life-saving medicine naloxone.

"We look forward to continuing our work with the CDC, state medical associations, public health agencies and other stakeholders to stop prescription drug abuse while preserving access to medically necessary treatment for pain."  

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Media Contact:
Randi Kahn
AMA Media & Editorial
(202) 789-7442

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