Opioid prescribing lacks structure

Of 404 respondents from five urban and rural divisions of general practice, no doctor was always compliant with every item on a local guidelines checklist and only 31% usually complied with most items.

Guideline concordance was highest for the avoidance of high dosages and fast-acting formulations but lowest for strategies such as initiation of opioids on a time-limited trial basis and use of contracts.

Lead author Dr Simon Holliday, a GP addiction specialist in Taree, NSW, warned the ability to manage pain with opioids may be