CND 52nd Session of CND opens with speech from INCB President – Hamid Ghodse calls upon states to improve access to essential medicines

Now that the High Level Segment of CND is over, the regular business of the annual CND meeting began today, and runs until Friday.

The opening speaker was International Narcotics Control Board President, Hamid Ghodse, who emphasised the mandate of the INCB to ensure access to controlled medicines, including codeine and morphine. Access to these medicines is considered by WHO as a human right, yet it virtually non-existent in over 150 countries. Concerns over addiction is the factor most frequently cited on restricting access to controlled medicines. The INCB ‘urges all governments’ to identify the obstacles restricting access to opioid analgesics medicines, and to take steps to improve availability.

His speech went on to express concern over the internet sale of pharmaceuticals, the scale of which he described as ‘staggering’. He also expressed concern at smuggling via the use of courier services, as well as INCB concerns over the use of ketamine.

Ghodse lauded the contribution of NGOs to demand reduction efforts, and thank NGOs who work very hard to assist governments in the implementation of the international drug control treaties.

Ghodse spoke on the international situation regarding the control of precursor chemicals, and encouraged those states that have not ratified the drug conventions to do so.

Following the INCB statement, the floor was opened to questions and comments from member states.

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