Statement attributed to:
Patrice A. Harris, M.D.
Chair-Elect, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association (AMA) applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving the nasal spray version of naloxone, a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose by restoring breathing and preventing death. The FDA’s swift action will widely increase accessibility to this medication that will help prevent more opioid-related overdoses and save more lives.

“The AMA has long advocated in support of a multi-pronged approach to addressing prescription drug abuse and diversion, which includes increasing access to naloxone for patients who need it.

“With 44 people dying each day from opioid-related overdose, we are committed to expanding our efforts aimed at addressing prescription drug abuse and diversion and putting an end to this serious public health epidemic. In 2014, the AMA convened the Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse to identify the best practices to curb opioid abuse and move swiftly to implement those practices across the country. In addition to increasing access to naloxone, this includes increasing the registration and use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP), enhancing physician education, reducing the stigma of having an opioid use disorder, and improving access to comprehensive pain management.

“The AMA will continue to work with the administration and Congress on efforts to prevent prescription opioid misuse and support congressional and state efforts to modernize and fully fund PDMPs.”

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.