Presidents Opioid Commission Holds First Public Meeting - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

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President’s Opioid Commission Holds First Public Meeting

On June 16, President Trump’s Commission on Drug Addiction and Opioid Abuse held its first public meeting to hear from experts and advocates in the areas of behavioral health and addiction. Established through an Executive Order signed by President Trump in late March, the Commission “will study ways to combat and treat the scourge of drug abuse, addiction, and the opioid crisis, which was responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in 2015 and has caused families and communities across America to endure significant pain and suffering.” The Commission will release a report, with recommendations on how to address the opioid epidemic by this October.

In addition to Commission Chair, Governor Chris Christie, the Commission members include Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina, former congressman from Rhode Island, Representative Patrick Kennedy, and Professor Bertha Madras, Ph.D. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price and Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Dr. David Shulkin were are also present for the meeting. The Commission will work closely with HHS, VA and other federal partners, including the White House Office of American Innovation led by Jared Kushner and the Departments of Education and Justice.

Topics of discussion at the meeting not only included treatment and prevention, but also the impact any health care reform legislation could have on the opioid abuse issue.

ASA has worked closely with partner organizations and other medical societies, including the AMA Opioid Task Force, to explore solutions to the opioid epidemic. Some key activities include increasing physicians’ use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), working to expand access to naloxone and promoting education of effective, evidence based prescribing, as well as advancing multimodal and multidisciplinary pain management, including insurance coverage of non-opioid therapies.

ASA is looking forward to future opportunities to work with the Commission and the Administration on ways to address the opioid crisis.

Learn more about the Commission

ASA activities to address the opioid epidemic


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