Wednesday, November 20, 2013

American Medical Association's New Prescription Drug Policy Statements

From the AMA
Members of the AMA House of Delegates this week adopted numerous policies on important topics that impact the stability of physician practices, the quality of care and the advancement of patient health.

Drug availability, abuse and pain management
Newly adopted policies deal with the appropriate availability and use of medications. The first policy gives a contemporary review of national drug control policy and calls for a variety of changes, including developing community-based prevention programs for at-risk youth and increasing the accessibility of treatment programs for substance use disorders.

A second policy aims to address opioid-associated overdoses and deaths. It directs the AMA to develop a set of best practices to inform clinical use of these drugs in managing persistent pain. It also calls for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect more robust data on unintentional opioid poisonings and deaths to develop appropriate solutions for preventing such incidences.

Another policy asks the Joint Commission to re-evaluate its accreditation standard for pain management; that standard should improve pain management practices.

This support for reassessing best practices to inform clinical use of these drugs is an exciting direction for the prevention of prescription drug misuse across the country.