E-DRUG: Opioid crisis in Africa? (2)
Please note that the opioid crisis in Africa is the lack of access to
pain management first, and do not be lured by sensational media
Last week I presented in Copenhagen, Denmark, on this issue for a
meeting organised by the Chair of the Health Committee of the
parliament and the Danish pain organisation Smerte Denmark.
You can download my powerpoint presentation from Dropbox here:
The presentation is directed at industrialized countries, but much of
it applies to developing countries too.
1. The burden of disease from substance use disorder is much lower than
the burden of disease from pain.
2. "PrescriptION opioids" and "prescribED opioids" is not the same;
illicit fentanil ls is not the same as the prescription medicine
The USA failed to analyse its problems with opioids properly, resulting
in counter productive policy responses (see graphs in the presentation
with sky rocketing mortality figures).
Now some American opinion leaders try to export the false solutions to other
countries. We should not step into the pitfall, but instead make a proper
analysis of the situation in each country, and ensure that pain patients are
not duped by policy mistakes. Remember: Human Rights Watch is investigating the
USA now for torture of pain patients!
See also the WHO policy guidelines mentioned in my presentation:
They continue to be valid.
Willem Scholten Consultancy
Willem Scholten PharmD MPA
Consultant - Medicines and Controlled Substances
3411 AD Lopik, the Netherlands