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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2017, Article ID 5402915, 11 pages
Research Article

Perceptions of Community-Dwelling Patients and Their Physicians on OxyContin® Discontinuation and the Impact on Chronic Pain Management

School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Correspondence should be addressed to Feng Chang; ac.oolretawu@gnahc.gnef

Received 9 February 2016; Revised 2 December 2016; Accepted 9 January 2017; Published 30 January 2017

Academic Editor: Alison Twycross

Copyright © 2017 Feng Chang and Sara Ibrahim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OxyContin, formerly one of the most commonly prescribed medications for chronic pain in Canada, was discontinued, delisted from the Ontario Drug Formulary, and replaced by a tamper-resistant formulation in 2012. The impact of discontinuing OxyContin on patients formerly prescribed it to treat chronic pain was unreported. Patients with chronic pain aged 45 years and over () were recruited from two primary care and one specialty practice sites and interviewed using a semistructured guide to capture their experiences with discontinuing OxyContin, the efficacy of alternate medications, and relationships with physicians. Additional interviews were conducted with their physicians () to obtain physician perceptions on discontinuation and to expand understanding of the patients’ experiences. Aspects of patients’ pain and medical care through the discontinuation process revealed emergent themes that both converge and diverge from that of treating physicians. Areas of divergence include the motive for discontinuation, which was condemned by most patients but supported by all physicians, and the perceived impact of discontinuance on pain control, with the majority of patients experiencing a negative impact and most physicians describing it as insignificant. Perceptions of patients and physicians coincided on the need to optimize pain management practices.