INCB Annual report reveals that 5.5 billion people worldwide lack access to essential pain relief

Categories: Research.

The report, launched yesterday in London, UK,

  • calls for ensuring access to essential medicines, including in emergency and conflict situations;
  • draws attention to the continued threat posed by new psychoactive substances and
  • growing use of methylphenidate;
  • alerts about deviations from the international drug control conventions; and
  • calls for a balanced approach to drug control, greater demand reduction efforts, respect for human rights, and renews appeal for abolishing the death penalty for drug-related offences.

Commenting on the report for the Human Rights Watch (HRW) blog, Diederik Lohman, senior researcher at HRW, says: “In the past five years, recognition is dawning that the war on drugs has turned millions of cancer patients into collateral damage: Nobody intended to deprive access to pain medicines, but that’s what happened.”

In the report, INCB notes that drug control measures do not exist in a vacuum and that, in their implementation of the drug control conventions, States must also comply with their obligations under other treaties, including international human rights obligations.

Mr Lohman commented on the positive step represented by the release of the report, saying: “It’s encouraging to see the INCB highlight this issue so prominently in its annual report. Let’s hope it prompts a lot more discussion, if not action, on the part of the many countries still lagging behind on this important issue.”

Access the full report and read a press release from the INCB online.

Read Diederik Lohman’s commentary on the Human Rights Watch blog. 

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