Breakfast Sessions

Please note the Munipharma and Pfizer sessions run concurrently

Mundipharma | Pfizer | Grunenthal 

Monday 14 April, 7.30 am - 8.30 am
The use, misuse, diversion and harms related to pharmaceutical opioids in Australia: What do we know?

Speaker: Prof. Louisa Degenhardt, Professor of Epidemiology and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW.

With a considerable increase in the long-term prescribing of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), there are concerns of concomitant problematic opioid use and related harms, including injection, dependence, and overdose. A review of the Australian environment with respect to these issues will be provided, including; trends in prescribing of specific opioids; levels of diversion and injection among people who inject drugs, together with estimates of the contribution this group makes to the overall Australian opioid consumption; sources of opioid supply from clients receiving treatment for problematic pharmaceutical opioids use; levels of non-adherence and diversion among people with CNCP who are prescribed opioids in Australia - interim findings from the Pain and Opioids IN Treatment (POINT) study and an overview of a new study aimed at examining the impact of new formulations of pharmaceutical opioids on their tampering and diversion (the National Opioid Medications Abuse Deterrence (NOMAD) study).


Monday 14 April, 7.30 am - 8.30 am
Coexistence of neuropathic pain and sleep disturbances 

Professor Harvey Moldofsky, Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Medicine and Member Emeritus, Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto, and President of the Toronto Psychiatric Research Foundation
Presenting via weblink from Canada

Dr Michael Vagg Consultant in Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine
Visiting Medical Specialist, Geelong Hospital and McKellar Centre for Rehabilitation
Director, Pain Matrix

Pain often co-exists with light unrefreshing sleep, chronic fatigue, and psychological distress. Clinical and experimental research studies show that the relationship between chronic pain and sleep is reciprocal. Common knowledge is that chronic pain interferes with sleep. Sleep disturbance, however, with impairment in  sleep continuity and sleep quality potentiates  pain. This vicious cycle and resulting fatigue, depression and cognitive difficulties may result in chronic illness, impairment in overall functioning and disability. Behavioural and pharmacological management that interfere with this vicious cycle of pain and disturbed, unrefreshing sleep facilitate improvement in symptoms and overall functioning.  


Tuesday 15 April, 7.30 am - 8.30 am
Targeting multiple mechanisms in the treatment of chronic pain

Speaker: Professor Stephan Schug, School of Medicine and Pharmacology - Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Anaesthesiology Unit, The University of Western Australia 

Chair: Dr Richard Sullivan, Precision Spine & Pain Clinic, Victoria

Pharmacological treatment of chronic pain is challenging because of the range of causative mechanisms and the difficulty of balancing analgesic efficacy and tolerability. Treatment is potentially life-long and effective analgesics are urgently needed, with demonstrable long-term efficacy, tolerability and safety. Combining separate agents with different mechanisms of action could overcome some of these limitations, however polypharmacy can lead to drug-drug interactions and greater adverse drug reactions. Tapentadol combines the synergistic effects of μ‑opioid receptor agonism with noradrenaline reuptake inhibition in a single molecule (MOR-NRI). In preclinical and clinical testing, tapentadol has shown efficacy in both nociceptive and neuropathic pain. Tapentadol also produces fewer adverse events than oxycodone at equianalgesic doses, and thus may have a ‘μ‑sparing effect’. Recent data from the US, indicates that tapentadol has lower abuse potential than other ‘classical’ opioids.