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Joint position statement on the decision by WHO to withdraw guidance documents

23rd July 2019

Further to our news article in June regarding the decision of WHO to discontinue two pain management guidelines (click here to view), a joint position statement has been published and endorsed by many organizations, including IAHPC and EAPC. The statement urges:

  • WHO to revise and update the guidelines they have withdrawn with urgency and, until this task is completed, to reinstate both the withdrawn dcouments
  • Heads of state to continue to work with palliative care and pain experts and policy makers to ensure adequate access to internationally controlled essential medicines necesary for the relief of suffering, while preventing diversion and non-medical use.

Click here to view

Neuropathic pain in adults: updated NICE guidance

22nd July 2019

The NICE clinical guideline 'Neuropathic pain in adults: pharmacological management in non-specialist settings (CG173), has be updated to reflect:

  • the change in status of pregabalin and gabapentin to a Scedule 3 controlled drug (see our news item)
  • cautions in prescribing valproate for women of child-bearing potential; a link to the MHRA guidance (see our news item) has been added.

Click here to view

BETTER- B breathlessness survey- last chance to complete

19th July 2019

The BETTER-B survey on better treatment for breathlessness in palliative care and end of life (see our previous news item) is due to close on the 31 July 2019. Palliative care physicians are encouraged to complete the survey, which takes approximately 10–15 minutes, seeking views on the management of chronic breathlessness for patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease and lung cancer.

Click here to complete the survey.

Safer management of controlled drugs

11th July 2019

The annual report on the safer management of controlled drugs for 2018 has been published by the Care Quality Commission. As part of the recommendations, all health professionals are reminded of their responsibility to speak up on areas of concern that might negatively affect patient safety including prescribing, administering, dispensing, supplying and disposing of controlled drugs.

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WHO discontinues two pain management guidelines

27th June 2019

WHO is discontinuing the following two guidelines in light of new scientific evidence that has emerged since the time of their publication and to address issues of conflicts of interest of the experts that have been raised:

  • Ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances: Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines (2011)
  • WHO guidelines on the pharmacological treatment of persisting pain in children with medical illnesses (2012).

Click here to view

WHO guidelines for treatment of cancer pain published

18th June 2019

The World Health Organisation has published ‘Guidelines for the pharmacological and radiotherapeutic management of cancer pain in adults and adolescents.

Click here to view

Epistatus 10mg oromucosal solution SPC updated

4th June 2019

Information has been added to the SPC regarding the risk of use of Epistatus (midazolam) 10mg oromucosal solution in hepatic impairment: Because hepatic impairment reduces the clearance of midazolam and increases the terminal half-life, the clinical effects may be stronger and prolonged. Note. Epistatus is contra-indicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment. Warnings have also been added regarding the increased risk of CNS depression if using opioids concurrently.

Click here to view