BETHESDA, MD - ASHP today joined President Barack Obama in announcing new efforts to address the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic.
The President highlighted these efforts at today’s White House Opioids Action Summit in Charleston, W.V., where he discussed local, state, and federal efforts as well as private sector initiatives with healthcare stakeholders who are addressing the epidemic on a daily basis. President Obama also heard directly from individuals and families affected by this epidemic and the healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers, and community leaders working to prevent addiction and respond to its aftermath.
The Obama administration earlier this month invited ASHP to attend the summit and share a list of planned public commitments to action. ASHP’s more than 40,000 members practice in virtually all of the nearly 6,000 hospitals in the United States, as well as in clinics and various other ambulatory care settings where opioid pain medications are prescribed and used.
"ASHP applauds President Obama’s efforts to address the opioid abuse epidemic and is pleased to be part of the administration’s efforts to find solutions to this major public health problem,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP. “ASHP and its members are focused first and foremost on ensuring appropriate pain management for our patients while balancing the essential need to ensure appropriate safeguards against fraud, misuse, abuse, and diversion of controlled substances.”
ASHP's commitments to addressing opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose (listed below) are included in the official event materials for the launch of this White House initiative:
- Convene experts to discuss actionable steps to address opioid misuse, abuse, and access.
- Collaborate with key stakeholders on the development of professional guidance, best practices, education, and tools and resources to assist pharmacists and other healthcare providers in addressing opioid misuse, abuse, and access.
- Use ASHP’s various communications and social media platforms in an ongoing fashion to share information and create a sense of urgency.
- Highlight the issues and resources related to opioid misuse, abuse, and access at ASHP’s national meetings, including the largest meeting of pharmacists in the world — the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition.
- Engage ASHP’s 52 state affiliates and over 40,000 members in all efforts to address opioid misuse, abuse, and access.
The commitment to join President Obama in this important initiative builds on ASHP’s existing efforts to address the opioids abuse and misuse crisis. ASHP has been invited to work with many regulatory agencies within the past year, such as the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, to give expert opinions regarding this issue. ASHP will continue its educational work, as well as promote and support the development of a fully integrated national prescription drug monitoring program to help prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion while ensuring patient access to necessary medications.