Statement attributable to:
Susan R. Bailey, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association recommends that any settlement or judgment stemming from opioid-related litigation be used exclusively for data collection, research, education, overdose prevention, stigma elimination, and evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and pain.

“The nation now is facing a more complicated and deadly drug overdose epidemic due to illicit fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Death due to prescription opioids remains too high even though proven treatment for opioid use disorder exists. Too few states have taken steps to remove barriers to evidence-based treatment for pain and substance use disorders—barriers often erected by health insurers.

“Physicians and other health care professionals have reduced opioid prescribing by more than 37 percent in the past six years, prescribed naloxone more than a million times in 2019, and used prescription drug monitoring programs more than 739 million times in 2019—a 64 percent increase from 2018.

“The focus now must be ending the epidemic and providing treatment for substance use disorders, prevention of new addictions, and recovery of patients. Diverting funds for other purposes will prolong the epidemic.”

Media Contact:

Jack Deutsch

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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.

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