This briefing paper specifically
considers the need to improve analgesic use to support pain management at the end of
life. It sets out a range of recommendations for governments, policy makers and healthcare
professionals, with the aim of promoting adequate access to analgesia for patients at the end
of life. Although there has been an overall increase in the prescribing of opioid analgesics
in recent years, there are separate and distinct issues surrounding the potential overuse of
analgesics in patients suffering from chronic pain – these concerns are explored as part of a
related BMA briefing paper Chronic pain – supporting safer analgesic prescribing.