About AMA Opioid Task Force

In 2015, the American Medical Association convened more than 25 national, state, specialty and other health care associations to develop industry-wide recommendations for physicians to help end the nation’s opioid epidemic. The Task Force continues its work to urge physicians to demonstrate leadership to help their patients as well as urging policymakers to take action and standup to health insurance companies and others who continue to erect and support barriers to evidence-based care for patients with pain and patients with a substance use disorder.

Recommendations for Physicians (2015)

These recommendations guide the nation’s medical societies and physicians’ efforts on a daily basis. As demonstrated in the 2019 Task Force progress report, physicians have taken significant steps across the board on each of the recommendations below.

  • Support physicians’ use of effective PDMPs.
  • Enhance education on effective, evidence-based prescribing and treatment.
  • Support access to comprehensive, affordable, compassionate treatment.
  • Put an end to stigma.
  • Expand access to naloxone in the community and through co-prescribing.
  • Encourage safe storage and disposal of prescription medication.

Recommendations for Physicians

Recommendations for Policymakers (2019)

In light of the worsening and changing epidemic, the Task Force issued new recommendations urging policymakers’ action to remove barriers for evidence-based care for patients with pain and patients with opioid use disorder.

  • Remove inappropriate administrative burdens or barriers that delay or deny care for FDA-approved medications used to help treat opioid use disorder (OUD).
  • Support assessment, referral, and treatment for co-occurring mental disorders as well as enforce meaningful oversight and enforcement of state and federal mental health and substance use disorder parity laws.
  • Remove administrative and other barriers to comprehensive, multimodal, multidisciplinary pain care and rehabilitation programs.
  • Support maternal and child health by increasing access to evidence-based treatment, preserving families, and ensuring that policies are non-punitive.
  • Support reforms in the civil and criminal justice system that help ensure access to high-quality, evidence-based care for opioid use disorder, including MAT

Recommendations for Policymakers

Resources

Advocacy and Action to End the Opioid Epidemic by the AMA Opioid Task Force

By Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, Chair, AMA Opioid Task Force; Bobby Mukkamala, MD, Chair AMA Pain Care Task Force

AMA Fact sheet: Physicians’ and health care professionals’ use of state PDMPs increases 64.4 percent from 2014 to 2019; 739 million queries in 2019

“Enhanced Attestation”: A Simple Tool Regulators Can Use to Help Enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

AMA Education Hub: Opioid and Pain Management: Guidelines, Research and Treatments

Fulfill your state-mandated CME credits while enhancing your knowledge of opioid and non-opioid pain management, safe opioid prescribing and substance use treatment. Learn now. CME 44.25 Total Credits

AMA-Manatt National Roadmap on State-Level Efforts to End the Opioid Epidemic

Leading-edge Practices and Next Steps

AMA Issue Brief: Wit v. United Behavioral Health

AMA Opioid Task Force naloxone recommendations

Updated August 2017

Thinking of Prescribing an Opioid? Did You Check Your State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program?

The AMA Urges Removing All Barriers to Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

Why It’s Inappropriate Not to Treat Incarcerated Patients with Opioid Agonist Therapy

AMA Journal of Ethics. September 2017, Volume 19, Number 9: 922-930. Sarah E. Wakeman, MD

AMA: Promote safe storage and disposal of opioids

AMA Opioid Task Force PDMP Fact Sheet

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to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic.