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Editor’s note: Here’s an excerpt from an article in The BMJ. To read the piece in its entirety, click here.

A group of U.S. doctors that advocates for more cautious opioid prescribing has rebutted the claim from the American Medical Association (AMA) that the country “no longer has a prescription opioid driven epidemic” and condemned its call to remove “restrictions on controlled substances.”

Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), a group of 17 doctors, researchers and patient advocates, wrote to Susan Bailey, president of the AMA, on 16 February expressing disappointment that the association seemed to “fight key elements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s [CDC’s] effort to address the scourge of overprescribing of opioids.”

The group referred to comments made by the AMA in a letter to Deborah Dowell, chief medical officer of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. In the letter, James Madara, chief executive of the AMA, told Dowell that “the nation no longer has a prescription opioid driven epidemic … we can no longer afford to view increasing drug-related mortality through a prescription opioid myopic lens.”

He added that the U.S.’s opioid epidemic “has never been just about prescription opioids” and encouraged the CDC to “take a broader view of how to help ensure patients have access to evidence based comprehensive care that includes multidisciplinary, multimodal pain care options as well as efforts to remove the stigma that patients with pain experience on a regular basis.”

Read the entire The BMJ article here.