Medical Organizations Form Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse

awareA group of 27 major medication organizations has formed a task force to reduce opioid abuse. The groups are urging physicians to register for and use state-based prescription drug monitoring programs when considering whether to prescribe opioids to patients.

The task force also hopes to improve doctors’ education on safe, effective and evidence-based prescribing, according to HealthDay. The initiative includes a new web page with information about drug monitoring programs.

The initiative is headed by the American Medical Association (AMA). “We have joined together as part of this special task force because we collectively believe that it is our responsibility to work together to provide a clear road map that will help bring an end to this public health epidemic,” AMA Board Chair-Elect Dr. Patrice Harris said in a news release. According to the AMA, 44 Americans die every day from overdoses of opioids.

Other medical organizations that are part of the task force include the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Dental Association.

Harris said the initiative aims to reduce opioid abuse while helping patients who are dealing with physical pain. “America’s patients who live with acute and chronic pain deserve compassionate, high-quality and personalized care, and we will do everything we can to create a health care response that ensures they live longer, fuller and productive lives,” she said.

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