Adequacy of Opioid Analgesic Consumption at Country, Global and Regional Level in 2010, Its Relation to Development Level and Changes Compared to 2006
(2013; 28 pages)


Context: In most countries patients do not have adequate access to opioid analgesics because of barriers resulting from the fact that these medicines potentially can be abused.

Objectives: To provide an analysis for the adequacy of the consumption of opioid analgesics for countries and WHO regions in 2010 as compared to 2006.

Method: We calculated the Adequacy of Consumption Measure (ACM) using data for 2010 based on a method established by Seya et al. This method calculates the morbidity corrected needs per capita for relevant strong opioid analgesics and the actual use for the top 20 HDI countries. It determines the adequacy of the consumption for each country, WHO region and the world by comparing the actual consumption with the calculated need. Furthermore, the method allows us to calculate the number of people living in countries at various levels of adequacy. We compared our outcomes with data from Seya et al. for 2006.

Results: Most people have no access to opioids for pain relief in case of need. 66% of the world population has virtually no consumption, 10% very low, 3% low, 4% moderate and only 7.5% adequate. For 8.9 % no data are available. Between 2006 and 2010, 67 countries increased the adequacy of opioid consumption per capita. These changes are independent of countries’ level of development.

Conclusion: The consumption of opioid analgesics remains to be inadequate in most of the world and as a result, patients with moderate and severe pain do not receive the treatment they need. Governments, health organizations, and nongovernmental organizations must collaborate to address this situation, targeting their efforts at educational, cultural, health policy and regulatory levels.

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