AMA Substance Use and Pain Care 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. In 2019, the AMA Pain Care Task Force highlighted efforts needed to help patients with pain. In 2021, the AMA joined the two task forces to address the changing–and worsening–drug overdose epidemic, emphasizing tangible actions needed to increase access to evidence-based care for patients. Read the new task force recommendations here. Previous work by the task force includes:
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 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