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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Parenteral opioid shortage—treating pain during the opioid-overdose epidemic.

Bruera E. The New England journal of medicine. 2018;379:601-603.

Well-intentioned system-level efforts to improve care can result in unintended consequences. This commentary discusses the adverse effects of strategies to address the opioid epidemic, such as tightened regulations that led to opioid shortages. The author highlights how the shortages of certain parenteral opioids can cause patient harm and describes clinical and policy suggestions to improve the reliability of care amid efforts to manage the opioid crisis.