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Inadequate access to opioid-based pain relief a human rights issue for cancer patients

22 February 2010

Many cancer patients in Europe are being denied access to adequate pain relief because of over-zealous regulations restricting the availability and accessibility of opioid-based drugs such as morphine. Authors of the Europe-wide study say that restricting access to pain-killing drugs in this way is a breach of patients’ human rights, and they conclude that “there is an ethical and public health imperative to address these issues vigorously and urgently”.

The study, which is published online in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology today (Monday 22 February), is a joint report on the availability and accessibility of opioids for the relief of cancer pain by the European Society for Medical Oncology and the European Association for Palliative Care. The authors collected data from 21 Eastern European countries and 20 Western European countries.

Read the full article online here.

Read the full press release here.