WHO to review pain management guidelines


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to revise two recently discontinued pain management documents: the 2011 'Ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances: Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines' and the 'WHO guidelines on the pharmacological treatment of persisting pain in children with medical illnesses' published in 2012.  

In a statement announcing the plans, the WHO said it must consider and balance the differing needs of all countries for public health advice and that while it is deeply concerned about the risks and harms that can arise from the misuse of medicines for pain management, it is also aware access to medicines for moderate and severe pain control remains very low in low and middle-income countries. “The organisation is fully committed to ensuring that children as well as adults with severe pain have access to effective pain control medication, including opioids when needed,” it said. 

A call for experts is to being issued this week, and two separate guideline development groups will be convened. 

Final documents are expected to be published within the next 9 to 12 months.