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Pain: Drugs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 28928, tabled on 1 July 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the removal of specific pain medicines under NICE guidelines does not negatively impact people living with chronic pain.

Answered on

12 July 2022

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guideline recommends that people with chronic primary pain should not initially receive commonly used drugs including paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, benzodiazepines or opioids. NICE has determined there is little or no evidence that these treatment options have an impact on quality of life, pain or psychological distress and can cause harm, including possible addiction.

While NICE guidelines are not mandatory, we expect that patients presenting with symptoms consistent with chronic long term pain conditions should be managed according to clinical need and all current guidance. NICE continues to work with system partners to support the implementation of its updated guidelines. However, NICE has stated that medicines should not be withdrawn from patients when shown to be safe and effective for the individual and recommends that clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of medication with the patient.