With the opioid epidemic now claiming nearly 2000 lives from overdose in the United States each month, the medical profession is increasingly accepting the assessment of noted surgeon and writer Atul Gawande, MD: “We started it.” Specialty societies such as the American Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Physicians are offering tools to reduce the unnecessary use of opioids for pain and the risk of addiction. The Federation of State Medical Boards has released guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain, and many state medical boards have adopted their own policies. Physicians are responding. Since peaking in 2012, opioid prescriptions have declined by more than one-fourth.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, is Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement and Professor of the Practice at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He previously served as Secretary of...