Lukas Radbruch, Coordinator of the EU-funded ATOME project
Marko is 73 years old, and has bone pain caused by metastatic prostate cancer. He suffered terrible back pain following a fall some months ago, and it took several weeks until he was sent to the pain management specialists who finally managed to provide adequate relief with opioid medications and a spinal block.
Marko reported his experiences with the lack of access and the final relief in the first National Conference of the ATOME (The Access to Opioid Medication in Europe) project held yesterday in the conference centre in Brdo in Slovenia. Doroteja Novak Gosaric from the Slovenian Ministry of Health described the recent developments in palliative care and pain management. Slovenia has made considerable progress, and in a recent survey the development of palliative care has been evaluated as approaching integration in mainstream health care. More than 60 experts from the fields of palliative care, harm reduction and drug legislation participated. Following lectures on successful management of cancer pain, successful harm reduction with opioid maintenance and the patient’s experience, the experts convened in small groups to discuss gaps and problems in the legislation and regulations about the use of controlled medicines for pain relief and harm reduction.
A national country team led by Mateja Lopuh will be supported in the formulation of recommendations by experts from the Universities of Utrecht, Bonn and Lancaster, as well as from the World Health Organization and other organisations collaborating in the ATOME project. For more information check out the ATOME website