March 22, 2018: State Advocacy Update


Last week, the AMA submitted testimony to the Connecticut Senate Public Health Committee in opposition to Senate Bill 300. This bill would remove requirements that physician assistants practice pursuant to physician supervision, instead allowing physician assistants to practice in collaboration with one or more physicians.

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Because of the potential for this bill to fragment the health care team, the AMA urged defeat of S.B. 300.

As part of the AMA's efforts to increase access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) for the treatment of substance use disorder, the AMA is urging medical societies to co-brand a new advocacy document (PDF) highlighting the benefits of MAT. If you are interested in co-branding this document with the AMA, please contact the AMA's Daniel Blaney-Koen.

As part of its efforts to help educate physicians and others about the opioid overdose reversal medication, naloxone, the AMA released a new step-by-step video showing how to administer the four main forms of naloxone: Narcan nasal spray, Evzio auto-injector into the thigh, a yellow cap nasal spray, and an intramuscular needle syringe. The video is available on the AMA opioid microsite.

In the first eight weeks of 2017 the number of naloxone prescriptions written by physicians increased 340 percent compared to the same eight week period in 2016, and the number of physicians prescribing the drug increased by 475 percent. A study published by the National Bureau of Economic research found that in states where laws have been enacted to increase access to naloxone, there has been a 9 to 11 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths. More than 1,200 law enforcement programs across the United States now equip their personnel with naloxone, resulting in thousands of lives saved.

While the use of naloxone does not guarantee an overdose reversal, it does present many patients with the best tangible option if they are experiencing an opioid overdose. Co-prescribing naloxone is supported by a broad range of health agencies, such as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, state departments of health, and a variety of consumer and advocacy groups.