| June 26, 2012
We had a very successful meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) last week with respect to addiction medicine. New AMA policies are now in place as follows:
- The AMA supports permanent authorization of and adequate funding for all states to have an operational Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).
- The AMA considers all PDMP data to be protected health information.
- The AMA recommends that PDMP's be designed so as to make data immediately available upon clinical inquiry.
- The AMA recommends that PDMP's have connectivity across state lines.
- The AMA will promote medical school and postgraduate training focusing on pain medicine, addiction medicine and related issues.
- The AMA opposes federal legislation that would require physicians to check a PDMP prior to prescribing controlled substances.
- The AMA believes correctional facilities should provide addiction care meeting prevailing community standards, including appropriate referrals upon release.
- The AMA urges development of community-based programs offering naloxone and other opioid overdose prevention services.
The AMA House of Delegates explored issues pertaining to stigmatization of mental health disorders in medical professionals. We advocated for the removal of language on application forms for licensure, credentials, and other certification which asks whether the applicant has a diagnosis or history of a substance use disorder. This entire matter was referred to the Board of Trustees for decision, and we will undoubtedly have additional opportunities for input.
We attempted but failed to garner support for mandatory education tied to DEA certification. There was initially compromise language that would have offered physician’s benefits such as a decreased DEA certification fee in return for obtaining CME on the appropriate subject matter, but even this ultimately failed to be approved by the AMA. However, we will surely revisit this at the next meeting in November, and I'm optimistic that we will obtain an acceptable compromise eventually.
The AMA's House of Delegates meets twice each year. I had the pleasure of working in this year's AMA meeting in Chicago beside Ilse Levin, Todd Kammerzelt, Norm Wetterau, Brian Hurley, Mike Miller, and Penny Mills, all of whom presented on so many occasions that we fielded numerous comments about the size of ASAM's delegation. Please let me know if you would like additional information about any of the new AMA policies. We would welcome additional members joining us at future AMA meetings. To participate, you need to be an AMA member in addition to being an ASAM member.