Spotlight: Is there a prescription opioids crisis in the UK?


Over the past few months, concerns have been raised that a potential ‘opioid crisis’ has hit the UK, following the release of a report by Public Health England. The figures show there is in fact little relationship between the UK’s problem and the opioid crisis in the US, but the report did identify an issue around the overprescription of painkillers and other prescription medicines in the UK, along with growing levels of addiction among patients. 

Date and time Thu 23 Apr 2020 from 8:30am to 23 Apr 2020 at 5:30pm


The morning session will explore the extent of the painkiller overprescription problem in the UK, how it has come about, and what the key drivers are.

Attendees can expect to:

  • Understand the context of the painkiller overprescription issue, looking at the drugs that are involved, the data and trends, and the scale of the problem.  
  • Explore the various reasons why this issue has surfaced. 
  • Explore key issues by those actively involved – featuring representatives from public health, pain medicine and affected areas. 
  • Gain insight and potential takeaway solutions on how to tackle the problem, and what needs to change. 


The afternoon session will focus on the challenges for clinicians around opioid stewardship in the UK, alternatives to prescription, and education (for patients as well as colleagues).

Attendees can expect to:

  • Recognise regional variation in the prescription of opioids. 
  • Understand the efficacy of opioids as well as explore alternative medication, in terms of both benefit and harm. 
  • Agree on best strategies to explain the opioid problem effectively to patients, as well as colleagues.

Please note, lunch is provided ONLY to delegates attending both morning and afternoon sessions.

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