IASP eNewsletter - Aug 2014

Serbia Holds Symposium on Use of Opioids in Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

A scientific symposium sponsored by the Serbian Association of Pain Research and Treatment attracted pain experts from Serbia and international guest speakers to Novi Sad on June 6. The theme was “Opioids in Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: Key Issues.” Former IASP President Professsor Eija Kalso (Finland) and two EFIC representatives, Professor Bart Morlion (Belgium) and Associate Professor Nevenka Krcevski Skvarc (Slovenia) highlighted the program.

Among the 140 participants were anesthesiologists, primary care physicians, neurologists, rheumatologists, oncologists, and clinical pharmacologists. They explored topics related to the use of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain, opioid side effects, and other potential problems of opioid use in chronic non-cancer pain patients. A panel discussion, “Where We Are and Where Do We Want to Go?” was lively and informative.

The meeting highlighted the commitment of health-care professionals to improve the management of chronic non-cancer pain involving the controversial use of opioids. The discussion was fruitful and confronted issues such as whether to have a universal opioid approach for all patients (cancer and chronic non-cancer) or to create different opioid strategies for cancer versus chronic non-cancer pain.

A summary of the meeting emphasized that opioids are an integral part of the chronic pain treatment. Participants enthusiastically received the suggestion that for safe opioid use in chronic non-cancer pain, a national guideline is essential. The event stressed the need to work together with the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Fund to recognize chronic pain as a disease and to ensure patients with chronic pain receive the same level of attention as those with other chronic diseases and treatment according their individual needs.