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Opioids Aware resource launched

17th Dec 2015

There has been a sharp and sustained increase in the prescription of opioid painkillers in recent years. The latest figures from 2014 show that 22.75 million prescriptions were written in England with a total cost of nearly £305 million t o the NHS. Of more concern is that nearly all the rise in prescribing has been for treatment for long-term pain; however, opioid medicines are often ineffective for this condition. ?

In the UK and other countries, guidelines for prescribers on the use of opioids have been available, but awareness of guidelines and their use has been disappointing. 

The resource has been developed by healthcare professionals and policy groups. Contributions from several medical royal colleges, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the British Pain Society, Public Health England, NHS England, NICE, the Care Quality Commission and the NHS Business Services Authority have helped to ensure that Opioids Aware is relevant for everyone involved in the decision to prescribe and take opioid medicines.

Opioids Aware is a web-based resource, funded by Public Health England and hosted by the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists, and can be found at:

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