Pink Sheet is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call +44 (0) 20 3377 3183

Printed By

UsernamePublicRestriction
UsernamePublicRestriction

WHO PROPOSED CANCER PAIN RELIEF GUIDELINES STRESS ORAL ANALGESIC USE

Executive Summary

WHO PROPOSED CANCER PAIN RELIEF GUIDELINES STRESS ORAL ANALGESIC USE under a "three-step ladder" approach, whereby drugs increase in strength from aspirin to codeine and finally to morphine, the U.N. agency explained in background material distributed at a Sept. 5 gathering in Washington, D.C. The meeting assembled representatives from foreign governments, private foundations and the pharmaceutical industry to consider project proposals aimed at giving educational and financial support to the World Health Organization's cancer pain relief program. "Drugs are the mainstay of cancer pain management," WHO emphasized. "If used correctly -- the right drug in the right dose at the right time interval -- they are effective in a high percentage of patients." According to the results of studies conducted in Japan and Italy, complete relief of pain was reported in 70-87% of cancer patients. "The drugs increase in strength from non-opioids (aspirin or acetaminophen) to mild (codeine) and then to strong (morphine) opioids until the patient is free from pain -- hence the concept of an 'analgesic ladder,'" WHO explained. "The drugs are not given 'as required' only at time of pain, which is the general practice, but every four to six hours 'by the clock.'" The guidelines note that adjuvant drugs, for example certain anticonvulsants, psychotropics and steroids, can be used under certain conditions. WHO statistics derived from studies in the U.S. and the U.K. indicate that moderate to severe pain occurs in 30-40% of patients with early cancers and in 45-100% of patients with advanced cancers, and that pain is inadequately managed in 20-40% of cases. Approximately six million new cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year, about half in Third World nations, WHO maintained. "Treatment of pain is generally neglected worldwide," WHO emphasized. Obstacles to proper treatment that were cited include patient and physician lack of awareness that pain can be relieved, patient acceptance of pain, fear of drug addiction, underprescribing and underdosing by the profession, wrong timing of the drugs given, lack of education of health care professionals, poor drug supply and inadequate drug legislation. With the expressed goal of "Freedom from Cancer Pain," the WHO program calls for: the establishment of a global network to disseminate Knowledge of what can be done to relieve pain; the incorporation of cancer pain therapy into the training of doctors and nurses; the development of cancer pain relief fully in standard cancer textbooks; the treatment of cancer pain in general hospitals, health centers and homes, rather than only in specialized cancer centers; the reframing of national drug legislation in ways that do not hinder pain-relieving medication from reaching patients; and the raising of extra-budgetary funds, both private and public, to support local and national programs of pain therapy.

You may also be interested in...



Part D Discount Liability Coming Into Focus: CMS Releases Drug Cost Data

Newly released Medicare Part D data sheds light on the sales hit that branded pharmaceutical manufacturers will face when the coverage gap discount program gets under way in 2011

FDA Skin Infections Guidance Spurs Debate On Endpoint Relevance

FDA appears headed for a showdown with clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry over the proposed new clinical trial endpoints for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, the guidance's approach for justifying a non-inferiority margin and proposed changes in the types of patients that should be enrolled in trials

Shire Hopes To Sow Future Deals With $50M Venture Fund

Specialty drug maker Shire has quietly begun scouting deals with a brand-new $50 million venture fund, the latest of several in-house investment arms to launch with their parent company's pipelines, not profits, as the measure of their worth

UsernamePublicRestriction

Register

OM005224

Ask The Analyst

Ask the Analyst is free for subscribers.  Submit your question and one of our analysts will be in touch.

Your question has been successfully sent to the email address below and we will get back as soon as possible. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts

Cancel