Advocacy Update

Jan. 11, 2018: State Advocacy Update


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently clarified to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) that the dosage thresholds in the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain were not meant to and should not apply to doses for opioid agonists or partial agonists used for opioid-use disorder treatment.

Haven't subscribed?

Stay current on the latest on the issues impacting physicians, patients and the health care environment with the AMA’s Advocacy Update newsletter.

Please consider sharing this information directly with your state prescription drug-monitoring program (PDMP) administrator as well as medical, nursing, pharmacy and other relevant licensing boards.

The CDC issued the clarification in a letter to the ASAM (PDF) after the society alerted the agency that physicians and patients were experiencing denials of care resulting from the inclusion of buprenorphine for the treatment of substance-use disorder in calculations for Morphine Milligram Equivalents.

The AMA and ASAM are working together to widely share the CDC letter. The goal is to ensure that all health care professionals and other relevant stakeholders are aware that any dosage thresholds contained in MME dosing calculators, PDMPs or other forms should not, in the CDC's words, "guide dosing of medication-assisted treatment for opioid-use disorder." The CDC added that "the conversion factors for drugs prescribed or provided as part of medication-assisted treatment for opioid-use disorder should not be used to benchmark against dosage thresholds meant for opioids prescribed for pain."

If you have questions, please contact Kelly Corredor (email to [email protected]), ASAM Director of Advocacy and Government Relations.