Treatment Differences in Europe


A variety of treatment options exist and so does analgesic usage in Europe. Looking at the consumption of analgesics huge differences can be found regarding quantity and substances.1 Strong opioids are commonly prescribed in Northern Europe whereas in the Southern European countries the consumption is comparatively low.2

A market research study among 996 physicians (general practitioners, pain specialists, rheumatologists/orthopaedists, oncologists/palliative care specialists) in Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy and Sweden confirms that pain treatment differs markedly throughout Europe. The interviews were conducted from March to May 2009 by GFK Healthcare, Nürnberg.

Taking this into account it can be concluded that the main factors determining European pain treatment appear to be tradition and personal experience.

Observe the study results for severe chronic low back pain patients:

 

Non-Opioid-Analgesics

NSAIDs are commonly used to treat severe chronic low back pain all across Europe.

Chronic low back pain - Non-Opioid Analgesics

Source: Physician interviews conducted by GFK Heealthcare, March - May 2009
n=416
Focussing on severe chronic low back pain; you mentioned that you treat patients with severe pain due to severe chronic low back pain. Now think in your last 100 patients with this indication: How many of your patients did you treat with the following agents?

 

Weak Opioids

With regard to weak opioids tramadol is the treatment of choice in most European countries. Codeine is most frequently used in the UK.

Chronic low back pain - Weak Opioids

Source: Physician interviews conducted by GFK Heealthcare, March - May 2009
n=416
Focussing on severe chronic low back pain; you mentioned that you treat patients with severe pain due to severe chronic low back pain. Now think in your last 100 patients with this indication: How many of your patients did you treat with the following agents?

 

Strong Opioids

Strong opioids are more often prescribed by physicians of the Northern European countries. In Spain transdermal analgesics are frequently used.

Chronic

Source: Physician interviews conducted by GFK Heealthcare, March - May 2009
n=416
Focussing on severe chronic low back pain; you mentioned that you treat patients with severe pain due to severe chronic low back pain. Now think in your last 100 patients with this indication: How many of your patients did you treat with the following agents?

 

Co-Analgesics

The variety of Co-analgesics is also used to treat severe chronic low back pain. In Spain there is a high usage of Pregabalin. In the UK Amitriptyline is commonly used.

Chronic low back pain – Co-Analgesics

Source: Physician interviews conducted by GFK Heealthcare, March - May 2009 n=416 Focussing on severe chronic low back pain; you mentioned that you treat patients with severe pain due to severe chronic low back pain. Now think in your last 100 patients with this indication: How many of your patients did you treat with the following agents?

 

References

1 IMS data, 2008.
2 Breivik H et al.: Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalence, impact on daily life, and treatment. Eur J Pain. 2006; 10:287-333.