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WHO statement on access to controlled medicines

WHO welcomes attention of INCB to this issue. Part of the drug control regime must be to maximise the availability of narcotics for medical use. WHO welcomes INCB’s call for more attention by states to the issue of access to controlled medicines. WHO welcomes INCB’s recognition that access to the medicines on the WHO list of essential medicines is a necessary component of the right to heath. Fear of abuse and dependence is the main cause of limited access.

WHO has yet to finish its review of Ketamine, and is not yet convinced that its harmfulness is sufficient to require it to be listed for control under the conventions. Doing so would limit its availability in developing countries for anaesthesia.

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