Availability and accessibility of opioids for pain and palliative care in Colombia: a survey study

Keywords: Palliative care, Opioids, Colombia, Availability of health services, Accessibility of health services

Abstract

Introduction: Access to essential medicines, including opioids, is a component of the right to health.

Objective: To identify barriers to opioid availability and accessibility for pain and palliative care.

Methods: Online survey with Colombian prescribers. Availability barriers were analyzed for each facility (distribution and/or dispensing). Accessibility barriers were analyzed by type. Descriptive analyses were conducted using relative frequencies. Significance within categories and regions was measured using Fisher's exact test.

Results: Out of 1,208 prescribers invited, 806 (66.7%) completed the survey. Availability: 76.43% reported barriers. The most cited barrier was “Pharmacies authorized by health insurance companies”, where opioids are frequently unavailable. Accessibility: 74.6% reported barriers. Most frequently cited was “Difficulty securing payment authorization for medication from health insurance companies”. Significant differences were observed in terms of regions and “Cost” (p=0.02). Lack of coordination among procuring and distributing agencies affects availability. Limited awareness and bureaucratic procedures affect accessibility.

Conclusions: There are barriers to opioid availability and access in Colombia, related to the existing structure for guaranteeing equitable supply. From the perspective of healthcare providers, problems related to pharmacy availability, prescription and cost of medicines hinder pain treatment.

References

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How to Cite
1.
León MX, Sánchez-Cárdenas MA, Rodríguez-Campos LF, Moyano J, López Velasco A, Gamboa Garay O, Buitrago L, De Lima L. Availability and accessibility of opioids for pain and palliative care in Colombia: a survey study. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2021Oct.22 [cited 2022Jan.20];50(1). Available from: https://www.revcolanest.com.co/index.php/rca/article/view/1011

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Published
2021-10-22
How to Cite
1.
León MX, Sánchez-Cárdenas MA, Rodríguez-Campos LF, Moyano J, López Velasco A, Gamboa Garay O, Buitrago L, De Lima L. Availability and accessibility of opioids for pain and palliative care in Colombia: a survey study. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2021Oct.22 [cited 2022Jan.20];50(1). Available from: https://www.revcolanest.com.co/index.php/rca/article/view/1011
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