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AMA News Room

Jan. 13, 2016

AMA Suggests Changes to CDC Policies on Opioids

For immediate release:
Jan. 13, 2016

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) today released comments on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) proposed opioid prescription policy. The AMA applauded the CDC for treating the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths as a high priority, as it has done in addressing other serious epidemics. The AMA is extremely pleased that the CDC reopened the comment period to hear from frontline physicians who are treating patients with pain as well as from patients and their families who experience chronic pain. The AMA urged the CDC to coordinate and align its efforts with other key federal offices and agencies. 

The AMA shares with CDC the goal of reducing harm from opioid abuse and seeking solutions to end this public health epidemic. The AMA assembled the Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse — comprised of the American Osteopathic Association, American Dental Association and more than 20 physician organizations — to identify the best practices to combat the epidemic and move swiftly to implement those practices across the country.

While we continue to be largely supportive of the guidelines, we suggested modifications that would help establish conditions more conducive to implementation in a patient-centered fashion. Evidence is lacking to support some of the proposals, and some conflict with existing federal or state policies. The AMA is hopeful that the forthcoming advisory panel, which will provide input into the final version, will include patient advocates and more physicians who treat chronic pain and opioid use disorder.

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Media Contact:
Jack Deutsch
AMA Media & Editorial
202-789-7442
Jack.Deutsch@ama-assn.org