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

“We are extremely pleased that President Obama is undertaking initiatives to halt the nation's opioid crisis.

“The AMA recognizes the severity of this public health epidemic and is fully committed to being an active partner in implementing solutions to combat it. Our partnership with the administration will significantly advance our efforts currently underway to advance 4 key elements that we believe will have a significant impact. This includes:

  • Increasing physician registration and use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)
  • Enhancing education and training for physicians in safe prescribing practices
  • Increasing access to naloxone to reduce deaths from overdose along with strong Good Samaritan protections, and
  • Improving patient access to treatment for substance use disorder by increasing the number of physicians who are certified to provide medication assisted treatment with buprenorphine

“We commend the administration for addressing the concerns that physicians have raised about how pain management is evaluated in patient satisfaction surveys, and the impact of these surveys on the environment facing physicians as they evaluate options for treating their patients’ pain.

“We recognize that multiple strategies must be successfully implemented to turn the tide. Strong leadership and swift action from our nation’s physicians is imperative. This continues to be the driving force behind the work being done by our recently convened AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse to identify the best practices to combat this public health crisis and move quickly to implement these practices across the country.

“As physicians, we know that it is our responsibility to help provide a clear road map that will help bring an end to this epidemic, and we are dedicated to showing the leadership our patients need and deserve to once and for all bring an end to this public health crisis."

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