Prescribe opioids for chronic non-cancer pain with care for the sake of patients and the communityBMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4495 (Published 16 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4495
- Simon M Holliday, general practitioner and staff specialist1,
- Malcolm D H Dobbin, public health physician and adjunct senior research fellow2
- 1Albert St Medical Centre and Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services, Hunter New England Local Health District, Taree, NSW 2430, Australia
- 2Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Freynhagen and colleagues describe the lack of scientific evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of long term opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.1 Nevertheless, opioids are now the most prescribed drug in the US, where oxycodone sales reached $3.1bn (£2.08bn; €2.42bn) in 2010.
The authors state that opioids are for moderate to severe pain …