We are at a crossroads in our nation’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic. It is time to end delays and barriers to medication-assisted treatment (MAT)—evidence-based care proven to save lives; time for payers, PBMs and pharmacy chains to reevaluate and revise policies that restrict opioid therapy to patients based on arbitrary thresholds; and time to commit to helping all patients access evidence-based care for pain and substance use disorders. Physicians must continue to demonstrate leadership, but unless and until these actions occur, the progress we are making will not stop patients from dying.
The 2019 progress report highlights physician action and the immediate need for policymakers to focus on removing barriers to evidence-based treatment. Read the full report here.
Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, is the AMA President-elect and Chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force