New guidelines and a multidisciplinary approach have the potential to help patients in need while minimising inappropriate use of opioids
With an estimated community prevalence of about 20%, chronic non-malignant pain represents a significant but neglected and often poorly managed problem in Australia. In 2007, the cost of chronic pain to the community was estimated at $34 billion, which included burden of disease and productivity costs, each accounting for one-third of the total, and one-fifth ($7 billion) attributed to health system costs.1 Its prevalence and associated costs will rise as the population ages.
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