IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 10155: Agonist Treatment for Opioid Dependence Syndrome: The Impact of Current Understanding upon Recommendations for Policy Initiatives
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910155
The provision of opioid agonist treatments (OATs), as a standard approach towards opioid dependence syndrome, differs widely between countries. In response to access disparities, in 2014, the Council of Europe`s Pompidou Group first brought together an expert group on framework conditions for the treatment of opioid dependence. The group used a Delphi approach to structure their discussions and develop guiding principles for the modernisation of OAT regulations and legislation. The expert group identified some 60 guiding principles, which were then the subject of wide public consultation. Endorsed by Pompidou Group member states, the final report identified four key recommendations: (1) Prescription and delivery without prior authorisation schemes; (2) Effective removal of financial barriers to access to care; (3) Coordination and follow-up by a national consultative body; and (4) Neutral, precise and respectful terminology. During meetings, the expert group hypothesised that inequalities in OAT access are likely to be linked to underlying rationales which in theory are contradictory, but in practice co-exist within the different political frameworks. The present article considers the perceived influence upon different regulatory frameworks. Discussion is centred around the potential impact of underlying rationales upon the effective implementation of a modernised framework.
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