The opiod timebomb
In May 2013, one of the UK’s leading health journals reported explosive findings about the effectiveness of opioids in the treatment of long-term pain. The BMJ revealed that in a review of randomised trials involving thousands of people suffering from the two most common types of chronic pain — lower back pain and osteoarthritis — prescription opioids had a failure rate of 90 per cent.
The scientists applied the standard definition of failure as an inability to achieve at least 50 per cent pain reduction. The results for the opioid oxycodone were even more damning. It was found to be “less useful than a placebo” and had “a failure rate of 100 per cent”.