Letter to Government regarding the impact of opioid changes on consumers
The Australian Pain Management Association, Chronic Pain Australia and Painaustralia have come together as groups representing Australians affected by chronic pain to collectively express our concerns and disappointment at the state of pain management access in the wake of of the 1 June reforms.
The three groups listened to the concerns and distress expressed by our consumer networks due to the poor implementation of recent regulatory changes. The 1 June opioid reforms have created extreme distress, unnecessary physical and emotional suffering and devastatingly, a significant increase in suicidal ideation for our community members.
Painaustralia’s recent survey showed that an astounding 92 per cent of respondents have been negatively impacted by these reforms.
Our organisations note that while we support the intention of the reforms to reign in harm related to opioids, it has further exacerbated challenges faced by people living with chronic pain and created an unacceptable level of harm. This is largely due to the lack of communication with prescribers and consumers about the changes and limited alternative treatment options. We are collectively calling for urgent implementation of on-ground services and supports for people living with chronic pain who have been impacted by these changes, as outlined in Painaustralia’s Budget Submission 2020–21.