The AAFP recognizes that the risks of opioid analgesic abuse, misuse, and overdose increase as the number of people using these drugs for pain control grows. We agree with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and other agencies that prescription drug abuse has become a serious problem in the United States.
At the same time, we also understand that chronic pain represents a substantial public health issue in its own right, one with tremendous economic, social and medical costs. Further, we believe that family physicians have an essential duty to provide patients with safe, effective, and accessible pain management.
For these reasons, the AAFP is working with a number of federal agencies to develop policies that can reduce the risk of prescription drug misuse while allowing for the appropriate, medically supervised treatment of debilitating, chronic pain. Among our recent recommendations to lawmakers:
The AAFP will continue to work with the Food and Drug Administration and others to minimize the risk of abuse while ensuring that policies are in place to allow and safe opioid prescribing for patients in pain management programs overseen by their family physicians.
AAFP Letter to the DEA on Suboxone - July 5, 2013(1 page PDF)
AAFP Letter to the FDA on Standardization of Risk Evauation and Mitigation Strategies - July 3, 2013(2 page PDF)
Joint Letter to Congress Supporting Legislation Allowing HSA and FSA Funds to Cover OTC Drugs - April 16, 2013(91 KB PDF)
AAFP Letter to Senator Rockefeller on Prescription Drug Abuse - Octover 31, 2012(6 page PDF)
AAFP Letter to FDA Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee - October 10, 2012(2 page PDF)
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Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies/Prescription Drug Abuse