An international working collaborative to examine global drug utilisation: opioid use and misuse

Gillian Caughey, Katja Taxis, Bjorn Wettermark, Ingrid Sketris, Li-Chia Chen, Lisa Pont

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Background: Following on from the Drug Utilisation/Health Services Research SIG meeting in Taiwan 2014, there was strong interest to develop an international
drug utilisation study collaborative, open to all International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology members. Opioid use is increasing in many countries,
and the appropriateness of prescribing these medications long term is under increasing scrutiny, owing to increased risk of dependence and abuse, potentially leading to overdose and even death. Using opioid utilisation as the initial study exemplar, this global comparison will identify key factors that influence utilisation and quality use of medicines to facilitate the development of interventions to improve appropriate prescribing.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop an international working group to undertake studies to examine global drug utilisation, using opioid utilisation
as the initial study focus.

Description: This Drug Utilisation/Health Services Research SIG-endorsed workshop will provide an interactive forum to develop a multi-country
standardised study framework and design, to examine and evaluate the global utilisation of opioids. The workshop will be divided into two parts. The first will
provide an overview of what is known about opioid utilisation around the world and the various factors influencing utilisation, including (i) prescribing
regulations and clinical guidelines, (ii) prescriber and patient attitudes and (iii) health policy and pricing (30 minutes). In the second part, a small overview of
potential methodological approaches, study design and use of available data sources will be presented (10 minutes). This will be followed by an interactive
discussion with participants led by the study panelists (50 minutes) to determine an appropriate study design, a common data model of key variables applicable
for each country dataset, study outcome variables and analysis methods. The use of opioids in specific sub-sets of patients including those with cancer, non-cancer pain and older adults will be explored. The feasibility and challenges associated in undertaking this international collaborative will also be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number74
Pages (from-to)43-44
Number of pages2
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue numberSupplement s1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
EventInternational Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management (31st : 2015) - Boston, United States
Duration: 22 Aug 201526 Aug 2015


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