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2008 Global, Regional and National Opioid Consumption Statistics Now Available

The Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) is pleased to announce its annual release of new and updated global, regional, and national consumption data for fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and pethidine.  In an effort to provide these data in a more user-friendly format, PPSG has revised the opioid consumption data web pages, now offering more direct access to new 2008 global, regional and country consumption data, including revised data for 2004 - 2007. As always, we are grateful to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for their continued collaboration and for providing annual updates of this important data.


A review of the 2008 INCB morphine data reported by governments reveals that high-income countries (as defined by the World Bank income-level classification) accounted for nearly 91% of medical morphine consumed in the world, but comprised only 17% of the total population. In contrast, low- and middle-income countries, representing the remaining 83% of the world's population, consumed a mere 9% of the total morphine consumption. These figures point to the large and continuing disparity in morphine consumption among countries, and provide further evidence of the inadequate global treatment of pain, especially in low- and middle-income countries.  


However, there continues to be some notable increases in opioid consumption in a few countries where International Pain Policy Fellows have been making progress to improve the availability of opioids, such as morphine.  In Panama, the milligram per capita consumption of morphine more than quadrupled from 2007 to 2008. Similarly, in Vietnam, morphine consumption has been continuously increasing since 2003.  In 2008, the amount of morphine (mg/capita) consumed in Vietnam represents a four-fold increase since 2003. 


In addition, the PPSG is excited to announce a new tool on the consumption data pages, the Morphine Equivalence (ME) metric.  Using the INCB data it receives annually, and applying conversion factors from the WHO Collaborating Center for Drugs Statistics Methodology, the PPSG developed an ME metric for 6 principal opioids used to treat moderate to severe pain. The ME allows for equianalgesic comparisons between countries of the aggregate consumption of these principal opioids, thereby providing a more complete picture of a country's capability to treat moderate to severe pain than is possible by analyzing morphine consumption alone. ME data is now provided on the global, regional and all country profile pages and will be annually updated as new data becomes available.


The updated consumption data, including the morphine equivalence data, can be accessed from the PPSG homepage:


Date Published: 11/09/2010

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2008 Global, Regional and National Opioid Consumption Statistics Now Available

Last updated: 11/09/2010
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