Maintaining Legitimate Access to Prescription Medications
High-quality palliative care must include timely, effective management of the distressing symptoms of serious illness. Medications, including opioid analgesics, are a critical tool in this effort. For many patients, even short delays in accessing needed medications can be devastating.
AAHPM considers the broad availability of high-quality palliative care to be of paramount importance, yet its members also recognize the need to address the scourge of prescription drug abuse. AAHPM believes it is essential, though, to strike the proper balance between reducing abuse and maintaining legitimate patient access to needed medications. This focus on balance serves as the Academy's guiding principle when it weighs in on prescribing issues.
Opioid analgesic scheduling and labeling have recently seen intense scrutiny from the FDA, DEA, and Congress. AAHPM is a constant voice as these institutions examine the issue, working to stress the scope and severity of legitimate need to access prescription opioids. When the administration considers a change affecting medications and is soliciting public comment, AAHPM will connect you so that your voice is heard. For background on the Academy's positions, see the Want to Know More? section on the bottom of this page.
AAHPM seeks opportunities to shape the broader discourse about the proper role of opioid analgesics in the treatment of pain. AAHPM is a partner in the Collaborative for REMS Education (CO*RE), where it helps guide the development of continuing education on prescribing. As a part of this effort, the Academy hosted a preconference workshop at its 2013 Annual Assembly and produced a webinar series on achieving safer use and better care involving Extended Release/Long Acting Opioids (Part I; Part II). AAHPM also served as a contributing interested party to the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ development of Best Practices to Address Opioid Abuse, Misuse, and Diversion.
Want to Know More?
To learn more about this topic, connect to opportunities to engage in advocacy, and follow along with the work of the Academy, you can:
- read the AAHPM Health Policy and Advocacy Update
- access AAHPM's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Guidelines
- review the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ Best Practices to Address Opioid Abuse and to read AAHPM’s June 2013 and September 2013 letters that helped shape this initiative
- read AAHPM’s January 2014 comments in opposition to a CMS effort to recoup all Part D payments for drugs prescribed to Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the hospice benefit
- read the Academy’s letters on Hydrocodone Rescheduling
- explore AAHPM action in support of REMS
- read AAHPM Quarterly features focused on drug shortages and prescription regulations
- review the Public Policy Priorities