American Medical Association urges action, saying drug epidemic heading in wrong direction

AMA urges action, saying drug epidemic heading in wrong direction

(HealthDay)—Despite a 44.4 percent decrease in opioid prescribing nationwide in the past decade, there has been an increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths, according to a report released Sept. 21 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

The AMA convened two task forces (2014 to 2019) that provided actionable and measurable recommendations and principles for physicians, state and , and other stakeholders to combat the nation's drug overdose and death epidemic.

The new report shows that opioid prescriptions decreased by 44.4 percent between 2011 and 2020, including a 6.9 percent decrease from 2019 to 2020. Physicians and other health care professionals used the state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) more than 910 million times in 2020. More than 104,000 physicians and other have an "X-waiver" to allow them to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder, an increase of 70,000 providers since 2017. Yet, 80 to 90 percent of people with a receive no treatment. In the report, the AMA listed a number of policy recommendations, including stopping prior authorization for medications to treat opioid use disorder, supporting harm reduction services, and improving data collection.

"Physicians have become more cautious about prescribing opioids, are trained to treat opioid use disorder, and support evidence-based harm reduction strategies. We use PDMPs as a tool, but they are not a panacea," Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president of the AMA, said in a statement. "Patients need policymakers, health insurance plans, national pharmacy chains, and other stakeholders to change their focus and help us remove barriers to evidence-based care."

More information: Press Release
Report

Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: American Medical Association urges action, saying drug epidemic heading in wrong direction (2021, October 1) retrieved 18 May 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-american-medical-association-urges-action.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Limited access to buprenorphine restricts resident physicians treating opioid abusers

39 shares

Feedback to editors