Quality & Science

National Practice Guideline and Associated Products at Press Conference and Stakeholder Summit

by ASAM | September 24, 2015

Contact: Brendan McEntee, bmcentee@asam.org, 301-547-4110 

CHEVY CHASE, MD, SEPTEMBER. 24, 2015 -- ASAM convened stakeholders, including several medical societies, eight federal agencies, patient and payers organizations at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, for a press conference and stakeholder summit to announce and accelerate the adoption of its newly released National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use (National Practice Guideline) and associated products. The meeting announced the release of a journal article and full supplement of the National Practice Guideline in the Journal of Addiction Medicine (JAM), a pocket guide and mobile application, and a PowerPoint slide deck, all containing best clinical practices in the treatment of addiction involving opioid use in easy to understand formats that if implemented, could save the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year.

"The National Practice Guideline and associated products will assist clinicians prescribing pharmacotherapies to patients with opioid addiction. It addresses knowledge gaps about the benefits of treatment medications and their role in recovery, while guiding evidence-based coverage standards by payers," said Dr. Jeffrey Goldsmith, ASAM President.

During the Press Conference, Drs. Margaret Jarvis and Kyle Kampman, both instrumental in the guideline's development, spoke to the need for clinical guidance in the use of FDA approved and life-saving medications in the treatment of addiction. "Though medications are both clinical and cost-effective interventions, there is a significant gap between those who need treatment and those who receive it," said Dr. Margaret Jarvis, chair of the Quality Improvement Council which oversaw the guideline development process. "Research has documented that less than 30% of treatment programs offer medications, and less than half of eligible patients in those programs receive medications."

Additionally, a panel of federal, state and private sector representatives discussed why the National Practice Guideline is a timely resource and how it can be used to address the United States' current opioid epidemic. Overdoses from prescribed opioids and heroin kill 68 people a day in the United States. The number of deaths from prescription opioids has more than tripled since the 1990s. From 2002 to 2013, the rate of heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupled.

Federal speakers included: Nora Volkow, MD, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse; Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (via telephone); Kana Enomoto, MA, Acting Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Richard Frank, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and June Sivilli, MA, Treatment Branch Chief, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President. Don Flattery, a member of the Virginia Governor's Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse, also talked about how the opioid epidemic has impacted his family.

Dr. Kyle Kampman, who chaired the Guideline Committee and served as the Principal Investigator, said, "The purpose of this event is to help clinicians and others adopt the years of research and clinical knowledge codified by The National Practice Guideline."

The National Practice Guideline is the most current document of its kind, combining a review of existing guidelines, current literature and a systematic process for developing practice recommendations. Providers and others can find free copies of The National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use and its associated products at www.ASAMNationalGuidelines.com.

Read the press release