The ‘world view’ is changing on the use of addictive drugs as the first line treatment in managing chronic pain. Across the globe there are growing numbers of avoidable deaths being recorded from misuse of prescription opioids.
Australia is not immune to the phenomenon – Did you know that in 2018 there were 900 fatal opioid overdoses in Australia? Most of those deaths involved prescription opioids¹.
However, in trying to reduce the rate of opioid use, addressing the twin issues of prescriber habits and management of patient expectations, particularly those patients with a long history of use, is not easy.
So, whether you are directly involved in prescribing, or are part of the wider health team, consider your responses to the following questions:
- Do you understand your responsibilities when treating patients with long term pain?
- Are you comfortable with engaging patients in conversations about their perspectives on pain and pain management?
- Can you describe, and respond to, the challenges of de-prescribing?
- Are you aware of the very valuable resources that are available to you on this topic?
MIGA has supported many doctors who have been faced with claims, disciplinary matters, and coronial investigations where managing long term pain by prescribing opioids has been a factor in causing harm or death. We understand the complex issues surrounding pain management and prescription of opioids.
To assist practitioners, we will be hosting a webinar on 1 September 2021 at 7.00pm (AEST) titled “Chronic pain management – exploring the practicalities”. The webinar will bring together a panel of pain specialists and members of our legal team who will unpack chronic pain management, appropriate use of opioids and guide you through new approaches to prescribing and de-prescribing for your patients.
This is not just a topic for general practitioners but for all specialists caring for patients dealing with the challenges of long term pain.
Book your place
On the back of our successful 2020 webinar series, we are very excited about presenting on this important topic. So please don’t miss our first webinar for 2021, it may be life-changing for your patients! You can book your place here, or simply contact the Risk Management Team on 1800 777 156