AGM and meeting on opioid painkiller dependence to be held on 19 October 2016

The next meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence will be held at Westminster from 2.30pm – 4.30pm on Wednesday October 19th.

The first half hour of the meeting will be the AGM of the APPG for PDD. This will be followed by a 1.5 hour meeting on the theme of opioid painkiller dependence (OPD).

The agenda for the AGM will be:

1. Opening remarks by Paul Flynn MP
2. Apologies
3. Approval of minutes of the 2015 inaugural meeting
4. Election of officers for 2016 – 2017
5. Update from the secretariat
6. AOB


Meeting: The painkiller dependency crisis – the human and economic costs

A recent study published in The BMJ concluded that as many as 28 million people in the UK suffer chronic pain defined as pain lasting more than three months. An unknown number of these people will be in receipt of repeat prescription for opiate painkillers over weeks, months and in some cases years past the recommended prescribing guidelines. Some of this group will be topping up their prescriptions moving from one chemist to the next buying up quantities of over-the-counter painkillers or possibly avoiding the GP altogether. A recent survey revealed that half of those taking painkillers had no idea about the risks of addiction but for many the reality is all too clear as they struggle with addiction and withdrawal. This is a significant public health issue hidden in plain sight, costing patients their health and adding to the financial burdens of the NHS and Welfare budgets. This meeting seeks to address the key issues for patients and professionals and to discuss ways forward.

Meeting chair: Harry Shapiro (Opiate Painkiller Dependency Alliance, Director DrugWise, APPG secretariat)


Dr George Ryan – former GP, clinical advisor to PHE England

Dr Jane Quinlan – consultant in pain management Oxford University Hospitals Trust

Dr Farrukh Alam – consultant in addiction psychiatry Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Cathryn Kemp – director Painkiller Addiction Information Network (PAIN) and expert by lived experience

Attendance at this meeting is by invitation only.

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