Palliative cancer care (Indicator 20)
The indicator describes the following: Access to palliative care assessed by morphine-equivalent consumption of strong opioid analgesics (in grams of morphine) per death from cancer.
Average morphine consumption per death from cancer increased from 62 to 85 grams of morphine during the period from 2011 to 2022. The figure is based on total annual sales of strong opioid analgesics and on the number of deaths from cancer per year.
The data source for this indicator is the Norwegian Prescription Database and the Cause of Death Registry.
A description and definitions follow below.
Data source: Norwegian Prescription Database
Wholesaler-based medicines data at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have provided statistics on sales of opioids from the ATC groups N02AA, N02AB and N02AG, stated in grams of opioid, during the period 2011-2022. The data include sales of medicines with marketing licences and unregistered medications. ATC/DDD version 2021 was used.
- Average consumption of morphine in Norway per cancer death per year. Calculated according to total sales of opioids in grams of morphine in Norway, divided by total number of cancer deaths.
Conversion formula for morphine equivalents (1 gram morphine):
Data source: Cause of Death Registry
The cause of death statistics are compiled on the basis of notices of death completed by public sector doctors. In addition, information is obtained from the Cancer Registry of Norway, the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, hospital autopsy results and forensic examinations.
The following ICD10 diagnosis codes are included:
- Cancer C00-C97
The number of cancer deaths per year are included in the calculation of the effect measure for the indicator.
Interpretation and sources of error
The data only provide a rough estimate since strong opioid analgesics are also used for other types of disease.
Global indicator definition
Indicator 20. Access to palliative care assessed by morphine-equivalent consumption of strong opioid analgesics (excluding methadone) per death from cancer.