“The ATOME project comes to a close after five years of research and advocacy. The results strengthen our knowledge of barriers and challenges to access to opioid medication and more importantly how to overcome them. The project outputs include: the revised WHO policy guidelines on ensuring balance to controlled medicines and detailed reports on barriers towards access to opioid medicines in 12 European countries.
“The overall goal of the ATOME project was to undertake applied research into the reasons why opioid medicines for moderate to severe pain, and for the treatment of opioid dependence, are not used adequately in 12 European countries where there was statistical evidence of low per capita morphine consumption.
“For each of the 12 countries, an individual situational analysis has been done, providing examples for potential barriers affecting the accessibility, availability and affordability of opioid medicines. Tailor-made recommendations were developed for each country to address barriers on different levels. The final report was prepared based on these recommendations.
“Opioid medicines are the mainstay of medical treatment of severe pain and breathlessness, and the treatment of opioid dependence. They are effective and cheap medicines to relieve unbearable suffering from physical symptoms in severe progressive illness, and to prevent unnecessary harm and deterioration of health in people suffering from opioid dependence. For these reasons, WHO defines opioid medications as essential medicines. Access to opioid medicines is considered a human right.”
Read the full article, including general recommendations to Ministries of Health on the End of Life Studies blog.
The final ATOME project report is available on the ATOME website.