Statement attributable to:
Bobby Mukkamala, M.D.
Chair, AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force
Chair, AMA Board of Trustees

“This sober, clear-eyed report sees the nation’s drug overdose and death epidemic as a public health emergency that requires increased access to a wide variety of harm reduction efforts. Such approaches as increased access to naloxone, drug test strips and syringe services are evidence based, and, if enacted, would save thousands of lives. We look forward to working with the administration on expanding harm-reduction options for our patients. We also agree with the need to remove all barriers to medications to treat opioid use disorder, including barriers from health insurers as well as those encountered by incarcerated patients and those in recovery homes. The AMA urges all health insurers and state legislatures to take steps to make this strategy a reality. The AMA is a willing partner. This epidemic has gone on too long and claimed too many lives. We need to make sure evidence-based overdose prevention and treatment is available for everyone.”

Editor’s note: The AMA convened more than 25 national, state, specialty and other health care associations in 2014 to form the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force to coordinate efforts within organized medicine to help end the nation’s opioid epidemic. Additional information on the AMA task force is available here. Real-time updates on the AMA’s work on opioids is accessible here.

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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.