Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Rise in opioid prescribing

Most of the world’s population lacks access to opioid drugs for pain control

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 12 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6448
  1. Clare Gardiner, senior research fellow
  1. School of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2LA, UK
  1. c.gardiner{at}

Smith and colleagues say that opioid prescribing is rising in many countries,1 with the result that use is “widespread.” While this may be true in high income countries, we …

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