About the project
Project title: Perceptions and experiences of laws and regulations governing access to opioids in South, Southeast, East and Central Asia: a systematic review, critical interpretative synthesis and development of a conceptual framework.
Time frame: Completed
Contact for more details: Dr Joseph Clark
Opioids are essential pain-killing medicines. Despite international and national laws permitting availability, opioid access remains inadequate.
We conducted a systematic review of post-2000 research to explore the perceptions and experiences of regulatory enablers and barriers to opioid access in South, Southeast, East and Central Asia.
We found the following barriers to access:
- A lack of laws explicitly enabling opioid access, restrictive international controls and clinician prescribing concerns,
- Limited availability, poor policymaker and clinician education, interrupted supply,
- Medicine costs, distance to prescribing centres, and
- Extensive bureaucratic barriers, lack of human resources for prescribing.
There is a self-perpetuating model of inadequate opioid provision whereby inadequate consumption informs annual requirement estimates used to determine future opioid availability.