GOPI Project for the Journal on Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy

Recently, the outcomes were published of the Global Opioid Policy Initiative, evaluating the availability, cost of opioid medicines and the regulatory barriers that are possibly impeding access for the management of cancer pain in developing countries. Other studies have shown that the vast majority of the world population has no access to opioid analgesics. This study shows by country which opioid medicines are available, what they cost to the patient, and investigates the presence of barriers for access to these medicines.

Data from the project will be an important resource for those who advocate for improved access to opioid analgesics. Yet, like so often, many more aspects of inadequate opioid analgesic consumption require exploration and reporting, including legislative barriers. The last publication on the project is a “What’s next?” that is over focusing on palliative care, forgetting that outside palliative care is also a huge need for opioid  analgesics in moderate and severe pain. While promoting access to palliative care and pain management, their recognition as a human right by UN bodies would be of great help. Moreover, WHO’s Access to Controlled Medicines Programme, could be an important programme to support the countries in making these improvements.

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