Treat the Pain Program

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Context: Globally, low- and middle-income countries are home to 70% of cancer deaths and 99% of HIV deaths, but they consume just 7% of opioid analgesics. Objective: The American Cancer Society's Treat the Pain program partners with governments in low- and middle-income countries to improve access to high-quality essential pain medicines. Method: Treat the Pain has developed the MORPHINE Framework to provide a structure to describe challenges to access to pain relief and to group and sequence interventions to address these challenges. Results: Treat the Pain has used the framework to improve access to oral morphine in partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Swaziland, addressing both supply- and demand-side challenges. Conclusion: Treat the Pain is supporting governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce needless suffering and improve access to essential pain medicines for patients in pain by supporting the expansion of locally produced, affordable oral morphine solution and expanding basic training in pain assessment and management.

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O’Brien, M., Schwartz, A., & Plattner, L. (2018). Treat the Pain Program. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 55(2), S135–S139.

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