Chronic Pain and Opioid Prescribing

From June 2020 there will be a change to government regulations that dictate how doctors can prescribe opiods for chronic non cancer pain.

Opoid drugs are derivatives of morphine and include the following drugs :

Prescription opioid products that are affected by the regulatory changes include:

  • tramadol
  • tapentadol
  • codeine
  • buprenorphine
  • hydromorphone
  • morphine
  • oxycodone
  • fentanyl
  • methadone

What changes are being made:

The regulatory changes will require opioid 'sponsors' (pharmaceutical companies) to:

register smaller pack sizes for immediate-release opioids that will provide a more appropriate option for short-term pain relief, for example after injury or surgery, and reduce the risk of harm from unused opioids (the existing larger pack sizes will still be available for those who need them)

add additional warning statements to the approved Product Information for all opioids to remind prescribers of the appropriate circumstances for opioid prescribing and potential adverse effects

improve the information available to prescribers and consumers to encourage best-practice prescribing and to be better informed about the potential risks with opioid use and how to minimise them

update prescribing 'indications' for opioids to ensure patients are prescribed an opioid only where the benefits outweigh the risks.

How will this change things at Don Medical Clinic ?

  • Scripts for Opioids will not be available via Hot Doc requests
  • Patients may have to have a face to face or telehealth appt with the doctor
  • An Opioid Contract will need to be in place
  • A Pain Management Plan will need to be in place : EXAMPLE1 EXAMPLE 2
  • A Pain Diary may be requested : EXAMPLE
  • Pain Assessment tool : PEG TOOL
  • More information : Chronic Pain Explained

The clinical situation will always be a priority but the statistics now show that opiate based pain relief is dangerous and will shorten our lives if we do not regroup and recheck and monitor our symptoms and the management .

For further information please talk to our doctors or our nurse.