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Global study reveals pandemic of untreated cancer pain due to over-regulation of pain medicines
Date:11/27/2013

A ground-breaking international collaborative survey, published today in Annals of Oncology, shows that more than half of the world's population live in countries where regulations that aim to stem drug misuse leave cancer patients without access to opioid medicines for managing cancer pain.

The results from the Global Opioid Policy Initiative (GOPI) [1] project show that more than 4 billion people live in countries where regulations leave cancer patients suffering excruciating pain.

National governments must take urgent action to improve access to these medicines, says the European Society for Medical Oncology, leader of a group of 22 partners [2] that have launched the first global survey to evaluate the availability and accessibility of opioids for cancer pain.

Image -- Summary map for number of regulatory barrier types for all regions http://www.esmo.org/var/esmo/storage/images/media/images/press-office/esmo-summary-map/612860-1-eng-GB/ESMO-Summary-Map.jpg

"The GOPI study has uncovered a pandemic of over-regulation in much of the developing world that is making it catastrophically difficult to provide basic medication to relieve strong cancer pain," says Nathan Cherny, Chair of the ESMO Palliative Care Working Group and lead author of the report, from Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. "Most of the world's population lacks the necessary access to opioids for cancer pain management and palliative care, as well as acute, post-operative, obstetric and chronic pain."

"When one considers that effective treatments are cheap and available, untreated cancer pain and its horrendous consequences for patients and their families is a scandal of global proportions," Cherny says.

The study conducted in Africa, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean and t
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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert  

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Global study reveals pandemic of untreated cancer pain due to over-regulation of pain medicines
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