AMA 2024: Updates on Science and Technology Related Policy Adopted at the AMA 2024 Annual Meeting

( In June 2024, the House of Delegates (HOD) met during the American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting, where they engage in discussions, debates, and voting processes to determine the healthcare policies that the organization will adopt as official directives. Within Reference Committee E, which is focused on science and technology-related issues, several new policies relevant to urology were adopted.

First, “Decreasing Regulatory Barriers to Appropriate Testosterone Prescribing” was adopted formally by the organization in the form of an official report. This policy directed the AMA to request the FDA to review current evidence on testosterone and, if necessary, provide updated recommendations to the DEA regarding the scheduling of testosterone-containing drugs. The report explicitly called for the removal of obstacles delaying or hindering patient access to prescribed testosterone, such as prior authorization, waiting periods, and drug monitor program requirements. Additionally, the policy encourages collaboration with partner organizations to advocate for and educate physicians on testosterone prescribing.

Next, the AMA adopted into policy an official stance on androgen deprivation in incarceration. The new AMA policy strongly opposes any laws, regulations, or court actions that undermine physician autonomy and clinical judgment in treatment decisions related to androgen deprivation (chemical castration) for individuals convicted of sexual crimes. Additionally, the policy rejects the practice of linking criminal sentencing, parole, or probation to court-mandated androgen deprivation. It also emphasizes the importance of collecting data on the use, court mandates, duration, and clinical outcomes of androgen deprivation in the carceral setting. Furthermore, the policy advocates for continued research into effective treatments for paraphilic disorders, aiming to reduce associated stigmatization.

To tackle the issue of inappropriate designation of penicillin allergy that leads to unnecessary avoidance of specific antibiotics, a policy officially recognizing National Penicillin Allergy Day, observed on September 28, be officially recognized by the AMA. Further, the policy encouraged penicillin allergy evaluations and appropriate delabeling. Lastly, the organization adopted an updated policy entitled “Sex and Gender Differences in Medical Research,” to emphasize the inclusion and representation of all genders, sexes, and gender identities in medical studies. Key points include reaffirming the necessity of including diverse gender groups in broad medical research to ensure the validity of study outcomes, supporting increased funding for women's health and sexual and gender minority health research, and advocating for the participation of these groups in clinical trials. The policy also recommends that medical and scientific journals require gender-based data analysis and diversify their review processes. The policy specifically outlines support for the FDA's requirements for clinical trial diversity action plans and post-marketing studies to ensure the efficacy and safety of drugs and devices in women and sexual and gender minority populations.

Written by: Ruchika Talwar, MD, Urologic Oncology Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, @RuchikaTalwarMD during the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting, June 7 to June 12