AMA house seats professional interest medical associations

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 10, 2006

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The Korean American Medical Assn. and the American Assn. of Physicians of Indian Origin were granted representation in the AMA's House of Delegates, becoming the Association's first professional interest medical associations.

AMA policy calls PIMAs "organizations that relate to physicians along dimensions that are primarily ethnic, cultural, demographic, minority, etc., and are neither state associations nor specialty societies."

To be considered for admission as PIMAs, organizations must be national in scope and have more than 1,000 members, at least half of whom are physicians. They must also participate in the Specialty and Service Society for at least three years and have at least 250 AMA members.Delegates want DEA to change tune on pain control

The AMA House of Delegates directed the Association to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration to devise "a rational and realistic set" of frequently asked questions to guide physicians, law-enforcement officials and regulators in how to provide appropriate pain management while minimizing drug abuse and diversion.

The house action at the American Medical Association Annual Meeting in June was in response to the DEA's October 2004 withdrawal of a set of FAQs that were negotiated over a two-year period and had been greeted warmly by the physician community when unveiled in August 2004. After withdrawing the FAQs, the DEA published an interim policy statement in the federal register disavowing them and reserving the right to investigate physicians solely because they were high opioid prescribers.

The house also directed the AMA to urge the DEA to reaffirm a previous legal interpretation that allowed physicians to issue prescriptions marked "do not fill" until a later date.

Separately, the house directed the AMA to secure an amendment to a DEA regulation to allow pharmacies to fill an oral or computer-generated electronic prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance for a hospice patient. Though some states allow for such prescriptions for hospice patients, the DEA regulation banning the practice supersedes state rules.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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