About PROP

PROP’s mission is to reduce opioid-related morbidity and mortality by promoting cautious and responsible prescribing practices.

The Crisis

The United States is in the midst of a severe epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Drug overdose deaths, once rare, have increased sharply over the past 20 years and recently surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death. From 1999 to 2013, more than 220,000 American lives were lost to opioid-related overdoses (175,000 from Rx opioids and 45,000 from heroin).

Every day, about 60 people die from opioid overdoses
—44 from narcotic painkillers and 16 from heroin.

The United States Centers for Disease Control has been clear about the cause of the crisis: overprescribing of opioids, especially for chronic non-cancer pain. Opioid prescribing began increasing sharply in the 1990s, largely in response to an industry-funded campaign that minimized opioid risks and exaggerated benefits. The increased prevalence of opioid addiction, caused by overexposing the U.S. population to prescription opioids, has also led to rising rates of heroin use in non-urban communities and other health and social problems.

How We’re Helping

To achieve our mission, PROP works on three major fronts: prescriber education, consumer education, and advocacy.

Prescriber Education. Many prescribers underestimate risks of opioids, especially the risk of addiction, and overestimate effectiveness. PROP’s educational materials promote more cautious prescribing by providing clinicians with accurate, evidence-based information about opioid risks and benefits.

Consumer Education. PROP works with a variety of stakeholders to improve access to accurate information about prescription opioids.

Advocacy. PROP advocates for state and federal policies that promote more cautious prescribing practices. We also advocate for proper enforcement by FDA of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a law which prohibits marketing of drugs for conditions where risks of use are likely to outweigh benefits. We have appeared before Congress, pressed for changes in labeling, and continue to monitor opioid-related state and federal legislation and policies.

Who We Are

Though “Physicians” is in our name, our membership is not limited to doctors. Other health professionals and lay people- anyone with a desire to promote more cautious prescribing practices- can join PROP.

We welcome your involvement.