The 2024 Pledge4Action to Improve Availability of Controlled Medicines

Categories: Policy.

The IAHPC advocacy programme is in full swing preparing for the Ministerial and regular sessions of the 67th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna,

Incoming chair His Excellency Philibert Johnson of Ghana, has launched the Pledge4Action Initiative to mobilise Member States’ commitment toward concrete, impactful actions that address the key challenges outlined in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration. Palliative care advocates can ask their Vienna Permanent Missions and governments to take the Pledge to improve availability of controlled medicines in their countries. This is the background to the ask:

The first preambular paragraph of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961/1972) codifies states Parties’ agreement that,

the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering and that adequate provision must be made to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes.

The 2019 Ministerial Declaration, scheduled for a midterm review in March at CND67, recognises that,

the availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, including for the relief of pain and palliative care, remains low to non-existent in many parts of the world,

It recommits States Parties (your governments) to continue collaborating with WHO, INCB, and UNODC to ensure adequate availability.

Ask your government to take the pledge!

The IAHPC has prepared a policy brief template on the Pledge4Action that national palliative care organisations can adapt to their context and send to their permanent missions and government contacts urging them to take the Pledge4Action at the upcoming Ministerial session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March. You can adapt the template cover email to send the policy brief to your policymakers and missions in Vienna. The deadline for your permanent missions to send in their pledge to the CND secretariat is March 1, 2024.

All the details and suggested language are in the template policy brief. If your mission doesn’t make the March 1 deadline, it can still commit, since the initiative will go on all year by CND will be when the first pledges are announced publicly.

You can find the contact of your drug regulatory authorities here, and your Vienna missions here.

It would be amazing if lots of countries could take the Pledge to relieve patient and caregiver suffering to set an example for other countries in your regions.

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