Åge Schultz, DVM, PhD, executive director, Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC), discusses pain management and the cost of supportive care medicine.
No patient with cancer should have pain, Schultz says. While morphine is one of the cheapest drugs in the world, officials in some countries are concerned with its potential for abuse. Today, many patients with cancer are living longer than ever before, so it is crucial that their side effects are treated.
In countries in the developed world, Schultz says, many patients can afford expensive medicines. In countries in the underdeveloped world, patients do not have access to these same drugs. As supportive care medicines are relatively inexpensive, Schultz says, it is in the interest of governments to support supportive care in order to help many people in a cheap way.
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