| opioid therapy

Global Opioid Consumption Trends

In 66 Countries: Sometimes Not Enough

The Lancet Public Health journal published findings from a study of opioid analgesic consumption in 66 countries and found great disparity. Consumption was measured in milligram morphine equivalent per 1000 inhabitants per day (MME per 1000/day), from 2015 to 2019. Of much concern, “Opioid use in some countries in Africa and South America was less than one tenth of 1% of the rates in wealthier countries in North America, Europe and Australia.”

Dr. Wallis Lau, of UCL School of Pharmacy, lead author of the study, commented, “We found that while there is some improvement in a lot of countries, there are still concerningly low rates of opioid use in large parts of the world, even in numerous middle-income countries.” As an essential class of medicine, “it is troubling that in many parts of the world, people are unable to access this medicine. Some countries have low opioid analgesic consumption despite a high cancer prevalence, which could suggest inadequate access to opioid analgesics as much-needed pain control.”


Read the journal article.

Read the press release.

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