The American Medical Association (AMA) issued a new report today documenting  how physician leadership is advancing the fight against the opioid epidemic.

The report, which is being released as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force meets for the first time, found a decrease in opioid prescribing and increases in the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), number of physicians trained and certified to treat patients with an opioid use disorder, and in access to naloxone.

“While this progress report shows physician leadership and action to help reverse the epidemic, such progress is tempered by the fact that every day, more than 115 people in the United States die from an opioid-related overdose,” said Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, Chair AMA Opioid Task Force. “What is needed now is a concerted  effort to greatly expand access to high quality care for pain and for substance use disorders. Unless and until we do that, this epidemic will not end.”