OTTAWA – LETTERS – As prescribers, physicians recognize that opioids can be important therapeutic tools in the treatment of pain as well as the fact that we have a fundamental role in helping to ensure their evidence-based use. We take that role very seriously and Canada’s physicians are deeply concerned about the potential harms of opioids.
While opioids have been essential in areas such as palliative and cancer care and have contributed to the alleviation of patient suffering, these valuable clinical tools must be prescribed in an evidence-based manner with proper assessment and monitoring, and as part of a comprehensive therapeutic strategy.
The negative impacts associated with prescription opioids represent a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder response. While there is no quick-fix solution to addressing and no one group can address this issue alone, the CMA is committed to working collaboratively in the search for solutions to Canada’s opioid crisis.
To that end, the CMA is working to disseminate the updated national prescribing guideline for opioids as part of a pan- Canadian collaborative of medical organizations. This guideline is also available through an online app and will be supported by other tools such as continuing medical education
Further, we will continue to be engaging our members in determining ways to help protect the safety of Canadians while also ensuring appropriate pain management for those who need it.
While finding solutions to this issue may not be easy, Canada’s doctors are committed to working with patients, policymakers, experts and other health care professionals to address this crisis.
Dr. Granger Avery
For 150 years, only the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has united the broad expertise of the medical community for the benefit and well-being of all Canadians. The CMA currently represents over 85,000 physicians, comprises 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and is affiliated with over 60 national and international medical organizations.