Public Health Issues

The TMA was historically designed and, after nearly 200 years, is still actively working to improve the health of Tennesseans.

Our mission continues to promote and protect the standards for medical knowledge and education, the practice of medicine, the quality of medical care and, most important, the doctor-patient relationship and understanding between physicians and the public.

Reducing Substance Abuse

Prescription Drug Dependence

TMA partnered with the Tennessee Department of Health to create treatment guidelines for prescribing addictive medications. We helped pass restrictions on the prescribing of Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. We also have ongoing efforts to fund a statewide public campaign on prescription drug abuse and misuse.


Prescription Safety Act

TMA worked with the state’s Public Safety Committee to amend legislation for new regulations on registered pain clinics. Changes were made that prohibit over-dispensing of opioids and benzodiazepines and require continuing education on proper prescribing.


Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome “Safe Harbor” Act

TMA advocated for passage of a new law in 2013 to protect addicted pregnant women from punitive action if they adhere to drug and prenatal treatment throughout pregnancy.


Statewide Public Policy Initiatives

TMA was the catalyst to changing the prescribing educational requirements for Tennessee physicians and has led the way on important public policies and other initiatives. Our members served on the physician committee to develop new opioid prescribing guidelines under review by state licensing boards. TMA members have delivered prescription safety education courses to their peers across the state since 2008. Physicians have been instrumental in the state’s developing, implementing and improving the innovative Controlled Substance Monitoring Database.

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Media Inquiries

Looking for a physician to comment on a public health topic, or need a story idea?

Dave Chaney
Vice President
615.460.1671
dave.chaney@tnmed.org