CANCER PAIN AND ITS MANAGEMENT WITH OPIOIDS IN GEORGIA
Keywords:cancer, pain, opioid, management, Georgia
354 cancer patients undergoing treatment, were interviewed by phone. Pain was diagnosed in 235 (66.4%) patients. 177 patients, that’s 75.3% of them had moderate to severe pain (p<0,001). According to the WHO recommendations, pain, with such severity, requires opioid therapy, although only 17 (9.6%) patients received it; Thus, 160 (90.4%) patients did not receive adequate care. We studied the possibility of pain management with opioids in cancer patients and as well the legal use of narcotic substances in Georgia. Methadone consumption was found to be constantly increasing (9 mg/capita), while morphine consumption remained almost the same (2 mg/capita). Methadone consumption (146 kg), for substitution therapy is 16 times higher, than morphine consumption for pain (9 kg). The difference will increase further in 2022, as the need for methadone consumption is estimated at 250 kg, and as for morphine at 13 kg, which is 2.7 times less, than the need, of oncology patients with pain in terminal stage (35 kg).
Conclusion: In case of desire and political will, regulations on the medical use of opioids, can be developed, that improve prescribing and access to opioids based on patient indication and need, and protect the fundamental human right - access to pain relief.
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