Statement attributed to:
Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A.
President, American Medical Association

“With the spread of COVID-19, the number of patients requiring ventilators has resulted in huge spikes in demand for morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl and other controlled substances. Some of these drugs were already in shortage prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The annual production limits on these drugs threatened to create an unnecessary scarcity in the middle of the pandemic.

“The AMA and other organizations requested that the DEA increase the limits, and the agency did so today. Such a quick response precisely what is needed to fight this disease. Obstacles need to be removed in real time so physicians can continue their work.

“In addition, the DEA will increase the production limit for methadone to ensure that opioid treatment programs have sufficient supplies to treat patients suffering from opioid use disorder—another forward-looking change that will be immeasurably helpful to a vulnerable population."

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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.