Who is winning the war on Opioids?

In the wake of the re-classification of Hydrocodone products which took effect on Monday, October 6th, along with studies showing a decline in OxyContin use, an article published in the October issue of Pharmacy Times looks to counterpoint a recent paper released by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) regarding the chronic use of opioids in the treatment of non-cancer pain.

The position paper released by the AAN and written by Dr. Gary Franklin MD, concludes that the potential risks of chronic opioid use outweigh the benefits of long-term use.  The paper also offers ways physicians can prescribe opioids more safely and with better outcomes.

The counterpoint, authored by Dr. Jeffrey Fundin, Pharm.D, offers more suggestions physicians can implement in the safe prescribing of opioids, such as including pharmacists in the collaborative healthcare model.

Both articles make compelling points and understand that more work is to be done if we are to curtail the chronic use of opioids. As healthcare is sometimes resistant to change, it is time that past thinking is re-evaluated to today’s patient population and disease states which require use of these types of medications.

Links to both articles can be found at the below links:

1. https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/home/PressRelease/1310

2. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/jeffrey-fudin/1969/12/the-conundrums-of-chronic-opioid-therapy-for-noncancer-pain-management

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