Statement attributable to:
Patrice A. Harris, M.D., MA
Immediate Past Chair, American Medical Association Board of Trustees
Chair, AMA Opioid Task Force

“The AMA is pleased that national prescribing data confirms that for the past several years physicians have made more judicious prescribing decisions, but continued progress and improvements are necessary.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report also reinforces two critical elements that must be addressed if the nation’s opioid epidemic is to be reversed. First, our country must do more to provide evidence-based, comprehensive treatment for pain and for substance use disorders. This can be accomplished, in part, by implementing the National Pain Strategy and reducing barriers to all modalities for treating pain, as well as by narrowing the treatment gap for addiction so that all patients who need it can access medication-assisted treatment. Second, physicians must continue to lead efforts to reverse the epidemic by using prescription drug monitoring programs, eliminating stigma, prescribing the overdose reversal drug naloxone, and enhancing their education about safe opioid prescribing and effective pain management. These are among the recommendations of the AMA Opioid Task Force and they are necessary to improve care and end the nation’s opioid epidemic.”

To learn more about AMA efforts to end the opioid epidemic, visit end-opioid-epidemic.org and AMA Wire.

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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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