Opioid Use in Middle Eastern Countries in Comparison to the United States Status Quo


Morphine is one of the more ancient medicines known, yet the global access to this opioid is still severelylimited. In spite of the fact that strong networks for national, regional and global care have been emerging, theoverall situation of pain management, in general, and in cancer patients in specific, remains of great concern;when we examine the availability of pain relief drugs in Middle Eastern countries. The data presented in thisabstract rely on the INCB annual reports. Consumption of Morphine. In the USA the consumption is on the riseand has reached over 76 mg/capita in the year 2007 (the global mean is 5.57 mg/capita). In Israel the consumptionof morphine in 2007 is similar to that in 2004, a little above 3.0 mg/capita. In Cyprus during the year 2004-2007the consumption was at about 2.8 mg/capita. In Jordan, morphine consumption has been on the rise since 2006and is at about 2.0 mg/capita. In Lebanon, morphine consumption has been at a steady state (1.0 mg/capita) forthe period 2004-2007. In Turkey, the consumption of morphine has been fluctuating at doses about 0.1 mg/capita fort the period 2004-2007. In Saudi Arabia, the consumption of morphine has been at very low doses ofabout 0.05 mg/capita for the same time period. In Egypt, the doss of consumption were fluctuating between0.01-0.14 mg/capita during the years 2004-2007. When comparing the quantities of consumption in the variousMiddle Eastern countries with that in the United States (in year 2007), it became apparent that in the USA theconsumption of morphine is: 10 times that in Israel; 27 times that in Cyprus; 38 times that in Jordan; 69 timesthat in Lebanon; 150 times that in Saudi Arabia; 447 times that in Turkey; 633 times that in Egypt. It is nowadaysclear that the medial use of opioid drugs is indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering; and most developingcountries use very small amounts of morphine.