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August 6, 1997

Health Care Leaders Form Drug Policy Group

JAMA. 1997;278(5):378. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550050038011

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SAYING THEY ARE "impressed by the growing body of evidence that enhanced medical and public health approaches are the most effective method of reducing harmful use of illegal drugs," a group of 38 distinguished physicians have formed a group called Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy.

The aim is to develop general agreement on dealing with illicit drugs through new policies that are "medically, scientifically, and legally exemplary," says the group's consensus statement, developed and adopted unanimously at a July 8 meeting at the New York Academy of Sciences. The group released the statement at a press conference in New York the next day.

While the statement includes the members' belief that "the use of tobacco and alcohol is also a critically important national problem," the group goes on to explain that "we are focusing our attention on illicit drugs because of the need for a fundamental shift in policy."