Associated Press: US lawmakers demand WHO change opioid (5)

1 July, 2019

In May 2019 there was some discussion on HIFA about US lawmakers asking the World Health Organization to rescind the guideline it issued almost 10 years ago regarding the use of OcyContin because of alleged involvement by Perdue Pharma.

This week's print BMJ (29 June 2019) provides an update. Citation and extracts below:


CITATION: WHO drops opioid guidelines after criticism of corporate influence

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 24 June 2019)

The World Health Organization is discarding two opioid guidelines after a report by two members of the US Congress alleged that they were tainted by opioid manufacturers...

WHO responded by saying that it would investigate the claims, and three weeks later it has moved to discontinue the two guidelines singled out for criticism by the report: Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances,3 published in 2011, and Who Guidelines on the Pharmacological Treatment of Persisting Pain in Children with Medical Illnesses,4 published in 2012.

In a statement WHO said that it took very seriously the concerns raised in the report but also saw the guidelines as outdated. It said, “WHO is discontinuing these guidelines in light of new scientific evidence that has emerged since the time of their publication. This will also address any issues of conflicts of interest of the experts that have been raised.” [...]


WHO's statement is available in full here:

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator HIFA Project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: