Access to opioid medication – discussion with Dr Lochan Naidoo, President of INCB

Categories: Policy.

Last month, the World Health Assembly passed the resolution: WHA67.19 ‘Strengthening of palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course’.

One of the items in the resolution addresses access to essential pain medicines and “urges member states to review and, where appropriate, revise national and local legislation and policies for controlled medicines, using WHO policy guidance to improve access and rational use of pain management medicines, in line with the United Nations international drug control conventions.”

Liz Gwyther and Zodwa Sithole met with Dr Naidoo, President of the INCB, to discuss issues of access to opioid medication and how the UN treaties promote availability of opioids. Dr Naidoo is an internationally recognised addiction medicine professional who is a Founder member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine. He founded the Jullo centre for addiction treatment and recently established the Jullo Foundation.

In the meeting this week, Dr Naidoo explained that INCB are planning a high level review and an update of the report on opioid availability for the United Nations general Assembly UNGASS meeting in 2016. He went on to clarify INCB’s role in global access to pain medications.

Dr Gwyther said: “We were very appreciative of Dr Naidoo’s time and explanations and the support for implementing the WHA resolution from INCB.”

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