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Drug recommended to aid comfort in palliative care

Drug recommended to aid comfort in palliative care
12th December 2008

The comfort of end-of-life patients in Scotland has been addressed by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) with the recommendation of a drug for the elderly.

Relistor - a treatment used to help overcome the problems of opioid-induced constipation from which many people in care homes can suffer from - was earmarked for distribution across the country.

It is hoped that this may improve the quality of life for those who must receive more manual ways of evacuation, with laxatives only working on two-thirds of patients, the SMC continued.

Dr Vignesh Rajah, the medical director of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, said: "Over half of palliative care patients state they would prefer to die in their own homes but the problem of constipation contributes to many not being able to achieve this."

The SMC is an advice provider for the NHS boards and area drug and therapeutics committees across Scotland, with the organisation distributing news on all newly-licensed medicines within 12 weeks of them being made available.

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