AAFP: Executive Order Sets Path for Opioid Crisis Response

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017

Statement attributable to:
Michael Munger, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians welcomes the additional focus on the opioid crisis that has afflicted millions of Americans. By declaring a public health emergency, the Trump Administration has further drawn the nation’s attention toward this crisis and the need for a comprehensive and coordinated response. While we applaud this designation, we are concerned that the nation still lacks the necessary financial resources to truly combat this epidemic.

“A key mission of the AAFP is to protect the health of the public, and we are deeply aware of the critical and devastating problem of prescription drug misuse and the resulting deaths. Opioid misuse is destroying the fabric of the lives of too many of our patients, their families and their communities. At the same time, we must provide patients with adequate pain management. Chronic pain is a serious health issue with tremendous economic, social and medical costs.

“The dual goals of providing individualized and appropriate pain treatment while preventing opioid misuse underpin AAFP advocacy activities. We have called for policies that support preventive tactics such as the Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs that inform physicians about opioid prescriptions written by all health providers and alert them to potential prescription drug misuse.

“Family physicians also recognize the need to medically intervene when patients develop addiction disorders. The AAFP also has long been committed to expanding access to Medication Assisted Treatment by increasing the number of patients a physician can treat with buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride. Medication Assisted Treatment has been shown to be highly effective in treating opioid addiction.

“We appreciate the President’s commitment to the nation’s opioid crisis and we look forward to working with the Trump Administration to identify the funding necessary to support a comprehensive and meaningful response that ensures appropriate pain treatment, prevents misuse and responds effectively to addiction disorders.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Munger, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

 

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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