• AAFP Advocacy Focus: Prescription Drug Issues


    The Academy advocates at the federal and state levels to develop and advance policies reducing the risk of prescription drug misuse while allowing for the appropriate, medically supervised treatment of debilitating, chronic pain. Among our recent recommendations to lawmakers:

    • All states should obtain physician input when considering pain management regulation and legislation;
    • all states should implement prescription drug monitoring programs and have the ability to share registry information, as called for the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act of 2005;
    • continuing medical education should not be mandated as a prerequisite to Drug Enforcement Administration or other licensure;
    • Congress should increase funding to support research into evidence-based strategies for optimal pain management and incorporate these strategies into the medical home model; and
    • all payers should recognize the increased outpatient visit requirements needed to perform the proper assessment and treatment of patients with chronic pain, and should provide appropriate payment for those services.

    The AAFP will continue to work with the FDA and others to minimize the risk of abuse while ensuring that policies are in place to allow safe opioid prescribing for patients in pain-management programs overseen by their family physicians.

    Why We Fight

    The Academy recognizes the complex interconnectedness of high prescription-drug costs; chronic pain as a substantial public health issue; and the risks to individuals and public health impact of opioid abuse, misuse, and overdose.

    Family physicians have an essential duty to provide patients with safe, effective, accessible pain management. To ensure that its members can dispatch this duty, the AAFP works with lawmakers and regulatory bodies toward solving a crisis with tremendous medical, economic and social costs.

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