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Individualised opioid pharmacotherapy is required by patients with moderate-to-severe malignancy-related pain. When converting from opioid pain medications to a transdermal opioid, the relative analgesic potency of the formulations must be calculated. The doses of transdermal fentanyl or buprenorphine must be individualised and be sufficient to control pain. The patient must also receive appropriate immediate-release opioid treatment to prevent withdrawal and treat breakthrough pain.