University of Wisconsin–Madison

Cancer Pain Relief and the War on Drugs

James F. Cleary, M.D., director of the Pain and Policy Studies Group at the Carbone Cancer Center and a special advisor to the Global Health Institute, will examine the historical basis for the use of opioids in the relief of cancer pain, including the global treaties to ensure access to opioids for medical and scientific purposes.

The concept of Balance was developed at the Pain and Policy Studies Group, working to ensure access to opioid where medically appropriate.

Use of opioids has increased in the United States for cancer pain and non-cancer related pain. Although 80 percent of the world still lacks access to opioids for pain relief, deaths associated with opioids have been declared a major epidemic in the U.S.

A primary focus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to reduce physician prescribing of opioids. Cleary will critique the premise on which this is based and promote a more complete understanding of the problem to ensure cancer pain patients both in the U.S. and globally are not impacted in a negative way.

October 26, 2015 - Cleary