The prescription and use of opioid drugs has increased significantly in Québec in recent years. According to studies recently published by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec – INSPQ (Gagné et al., 2013; Gagné, Dubé, Légaré and Perron, 2015), an increase in the number of deaths and the mortality rate attributable to opioid overdose was also reported in the province between 2000 and 2012, among the population aged 20 and over.
As part of an agreement with Health Canada, a project funded by the Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund (DSCIF) has been implemented in Québec for 2015-2017 in order to address opioid prescribing practices in chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) management, which is often associated with the overdose trends. The grant was awarded to the INSPQ as the project coordinator, in collaboration with the Collège des médecins du Québec, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Université de Sherbrooke, and the Centre de recherche et d’aide pour narcomanes (CRAN). The project has two main objectives: 1) Provide a description of medical practice for chronic non-cancer pain management, including the related patterns of opioid prescribing; and 2) address the needs identified by organizing training for both clinical physicians and medical students and residents.
More specifically, the project aims to improve physician training in two ways:
- Improve CNCP management and opioid prescribing curricula of Québec medical schools (undergraduate, residency and fellowship medical education programs).
- Develop and make accessible continuing education programs and tools for all medical practitioners in Québec.