Evidence lacking for opioids

“Studies that have been conducted to date are pharmaceutical industry-funded and typically run no more than 12 weeks — that’s not a long time when we’re talking about a chronic condition,” Professor Louisa Degenhardt, NHMRC principal research fellow at NDARC, told delegates at the centre’s annual scientific symposium in Sydney last week. 

Presenting baseline data from the first Australian study to investigate long-term outcomes of prescription opioids in people with chronic non-cancer pain, Professor Degenhardt said researchers were gradually starting to understand the complexities of the issues faced by this group.

Oxycodone was the most commonly prescribed opioid, used by 60% of the 1500 people recruited to the study, followed by buprenorphine. 

The median daily