Key words Opioid
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Objective: To investigate the impact of new regulatory measures on opioid consumption in Spain during the period 1985–1998. Methods: A search in the ECOM (Especialidades Consumo de Medicamentos) database of the Ministry of Health was made for the 1985–1998 period. This database contains information about drug preparations prescribed in primary care in the National Health System in Spain. Results: Since 1985–1998, the overall opioid consumption has increased tenfold, from 94.7 DDD (defined daily dose) per million inhabitants per day to more than 1000 DDD. For the five drugs that require a special prescription form (morphine, methadone, pethidine, tilidine and fentanyl), the consumption has increased 13.5-fold. Conclusion: A huge increase in opioid consumption has occurred. In this increase, changes in supply and, to a lesser extent, regulatory measures have played an important role.
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