Statement attributable to Patrice A. Harris, M.D., MA

President-elect of the American Medical Association

Chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force

“The American Medical Association (AMA) today commended New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and state Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson for helping end needless administrative barriers to evidence-based treatment for patients with an opioid use disorder. By no longer requiring prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment (MAT), New Jersey Medicaid will save lives.

“The AMA strongly urges all states that have not taken this step to do so immediately. Removing prior authorization for MAT should be occurring in every state Medicaid agency—and in the commercial and self-insured markets. While more Medicaid agencies are taking similar action, we continue to see other states and commercial markets still supporting prior authorization—a practice that serves only to delay and deny treatment. As we know from our patients, delayed treatment can have deadly consequences.

“Today’s announcement includes plans to invest in increased physician capacity, establish centers of excellence, and ensure that MAT is offered to all patients. These are hallmarks of the type of leadership necessary to end the opioid epidemic.”

John Poole, M.D. President of the Medical Society of New Jersey, also applauded the change: “The Medical Society of New Jersey fully supports the announcement and the increased access to treatment for our patients.” 

Media Contact:

Jack Deutsch

ph: (202) 789-7442

[email protected]

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.