Better Pain Prescribing. Clarity and confidence in opioid management

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Every day, 150 Australians are hospitalised in relation to opioid use. More than half of these are associated with medicines that have been prescribed for pain.

The Australian Government, through theTherapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is implementing a number of regulatory changes in order to minimise the harms caused by opioid prescription medicines in Australia each year. These changes will ensure safer and more effective prescribing and use of opioids, while maintaining access for patients who need them. 

The Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) has partnered with the TGA, developing a targeted better pain management and safe opioid therapy eLearning program that ensures those in health professions understand the reforms and are able to better manage those patients living with chronic pain.

Available to health care professionals at no cost, this course will help primary care providers develop greater clarity around the TGA reforms, together with confidence in opioid prescribing and pain management techniques. The six key eLearning modules are dedicated to best-practice. Content has been developed by specialist FPM clinicians and includes clinical tools, doctor/patient videos and individual case studies that will:

- Clearly outline the reforms in prescribing opioid medicines

- Show you how to develop sustainable techniques that help achieve genuine, and clinically-responsible patient outcomes for those experiencing chronic pain

- Demonstrate how to further improve results with the use of alternative treatment options that provide clear pain management choices

- Provide you with non-pharmacological therapies that make a real difference in reducing opioid dependence, whilst optimising non-opioid medicines

- Reveal risk-assessment tools that will assist in recognizing complex pain management needs critical for use prior to commencing opioid therapy

Those successfully completing this course may apply for CPD credit points.

'Better Pain Prescribing: Clarity and confidence in opioid management' includes the following modules:

Module 1: Making an effective pain diagnosis: a whole person approach

Understand the importance of a whole-person approach to pain assessment, including awareness of important pathophysiological pathways and the complexities underlying pain experiences

Module 2: The impact and management of psychological factors in pain

Recognise patients at risk for long-term distress and disability. Develop an effective management plan for psychosocial comorbidities in patients with chronic pain.

Module 3: A whole person approach to chronic pain

Comprehensively assess and manage complex chronic pain presentations. Educate patients about multidisciplinary pain management, whilst providing alternative solution options.

Module 6: Opioids in pain management

Initiate and monitor opioid therapy appropriately in patients with non-malignant chronic pain. Includes resources such as the Opioid Risk Tool for assessing a patient's risk of problematic opioid behaviour.

Module 7: Pharmacology of pain medicine

Develop and understanding of analgesic medications and mechanisms present in chronic pain to drive both clear and rational prescribing decision-making.

Module 11: High-dose problematic opioid use

More effectively prepare to deal with this complex opioid problem by understanding the influences that drive high opioid use within vulnerable patients.


Prescribing with confidence. Delivering better pain management solutions.

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Better Pain Management is an initiative of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.