AAFP addresses senator’s statement about opioid addiction
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) recently sent a strongly worded letter to Wanda Filer, president of the AAFP. He urged family doctors to be leaders in stopping opioid addictions.
Durbin’s letter also went to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the AMA and the American Dental Association.
"The AAFP, as a leading voice in the medical community, and your members must accept greater responsibility for the role you have played, and continue to play, in the ongoing prescription opioid epidemic," Durbin said in the letter. "The AAFP should take immediate action to reduce the number of opioids that are prescribed when not medically necessary."
In response, the AAFP stated that it is a participant in multiple initiatives that continue to dedicate resources to addressing opioid addictions. There are 17,720 active members from the AAFP who spent 133,885 hours against using and prescribing opioids during 2014.
"We agree that the medical profession -- and family medicine especially -- must lead the effort to find a comprehensive solution to this abuse of opioid medications," the AAFP’s letter said. "As you noted, AAFP members work every day to improve the health of our patients. And we are deeply committed to the health of our communities, as well."
The letter explained that the AAFP writes a high volume of opioid prescriptions because of the number of patients they see.
"We acknowledge that family physicians understandably write more than a quarter of all opioid prescriptions, but this is because they conduct as much as a quarter of all ambulatory office visits annually," the letter said.
Organizations in this story
American Academy of Family Physicians 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy Leawood, KS - 66211