Meeting News

AMA passes policies to end non-opioid treatment barriers

The AMA approved multiple opioid-related policies at their annual meeting that aim to make patients the focus of pain treatment rather than third party controls that create treatment barriers.

The policies focus on pain medication obstacles put in place by state and federal authorities, insurers, pharmacy benefit management companies, and pharmacy chains.

“Physicians have a responsibility to help end the opioid epidemic, and they are taking steps: more judicious prescribing that has resulted in a dramatic decline in opioid prescriptions, enhanced education and lobbying for policies based on clinical evidence,” Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, AMA President and chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force, said in the press release. “Physicians can’t be expected to fight the epidemic with one hand tied behind their back, handicapped by policies that limit choices for patients and have no basis in science.”

One policy recommends using individual patient needs to form treatment plans. The policy also opposes pharmacies, pharmacy benefit management companies and insurers who used “high prescriber” lists to prevent physicians from writing prescriptions without due process and keep patients from filling prescriptions at any pharmacy they choose.

Pill bottle knocked over
The AMA approved multiple opioid-related policies at their annual meeting that aim to make patients the focus of pain treatment rather than third party controls that create treatment barriers.
Source: Adobe Stock

An additional report followed comments from the CDC that its guidelines were used inappropriately and subsequently harmed patients. The report stated opioid restrictions should include exemptions for physicians when the physician finds it medically necessary.

According to the press release, the new AMA reports mirror the HHS Interagency Pain Task Force common-sense proposals, which recommend a balance between effectively managing patient pain needs while working to advance policies to end the opioid epidemic.

The AMA also approved a resolution that encourages states to use any money they receive from litigation against opioid manufactures and distributors for research, education, prevention measures and treatments for opioid use disorders, pain and overdoses. – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: Harris is president of the AMA.

The AMA approved multiple opioid-related policies at their annual meeting that aim to make patients the focus of pain treatment rather than third party controls that create treatment barriers.

The policies focus on pain medication obstacles put in place by state and federal authorities, insurers, pharmacy benefit management companies, and pharmacy chains.

“Physicians have a responsibility to help end the opioid epidemic, and they are taking steps: more judicious prescribing that has resulted in a dramatic decline in opioid prescriptions, enhanced education and lobbying for policies based on clinical evidence,” Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, AMA President and chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force, said in the press release. “Physicians can’t be expected to fight the epidemic with one hand tied behind their back, handicapped by policies that limit choices for patients and have no basis in science.”

One policy recommends using individual patient needs to form treatment plans. The policy also opposes pharmacies, pharmacy benefit management companies and insurers who used “high prescriber” lists to prevent physicians from writing prescriptions without due process and keep patients from filling prescriptions at any pharmacy they choose.

Pill bottle knocked over
The AMA approved multiple opioid-related policies at their annual meeting that aim to make patients the focus of pain treatment rather than third party controls that create treatment barriers.
Source: Adobe Stock

An additional report followed comments from the CDC that its guidelines were used inappropriately and subsequently harmed patients. The report stated opioid restrictions should include exemptions for physicians when the physician finds it medically necessary.

According to the press release, the new AMA reports mirror the HHS Interagency Pain Task Force common-sense proposals, which recommend a balance between effectively managing patient pain needs while working to advance policies to end the opioid epidemic.

The AMA also approved a resolution that encourages states to use any money they receive from litigation against opioid manufactures and distributors for research, education, prevention measures and treatments for opioid use disorders, pain and overdoses. – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: Harris is president of the AMA.

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