Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Rise in opioid prescribing

Rising opioid prescriptions may not be a crisis

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 12 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6452
  1. Lukas Radbruch, physician
  1. Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Bonn, Venusberg Campus 1, 53127 Bonn, Germany
  1. lukas.radbruch{at}

Smith and colleagues describe widespread opioid prescribing and use in European and North American countries.1 The editorial, however, neglects some important factors, such as the contribution of illicit opioids, that play a major role in the US opioid crisis.

The authors do not mention other literature highlighting the lack of an opioid crisis in Europe.2 They …

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