Opioids

AMA to boost education on methadone maintenance therapy

The AMA supports the evidence-based use of methadone in the treatment of opioid-use disorder (OUD), and model state legislation drafted by the AMA calls for all payers to make all forms of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) available without prior authorization and placed on a formulary’s lowest cost-sharing tier, according to an AMA Board of Trustees report presented at the 2019 AMA Interim Meeting in San Diego.

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“The health and safety of methadone has been studied extensively and ample evidence exists supporting its use to aid in mortality and crime reduction,” says the report, adding that methadone was approved to treat heroin addiction in 1972 by the Food and Drug Administration.

The report also notes that the AMA board “strongly supports additional educational efforts to, at the very least, reduce the stigma” of methadone maintenance therapy (MMT).

This support was broadened further as delegates adopted policy to support “further research into how primary care practices can implement MAT into their practices and disseminate such research in coordination with primary care specialties.”

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Delegates also directed the AMA Opioid Task Force to “increase its evidence-based educational resources focused on MMT and publicize those resources to the Federation of Medicine.”