CND day 3 – plenary statement by the United Kingdom on availability of narcotic drugs for medical and scientific purposes

We endorse the statement of the Chair of the INCB. The use of narcotic drugs is indispensable for pain relief. It is imperative to see how drugs can do good. We welcome the resolution from the USA on the issue. There remains a clear disparity between many countries where there is little access, and a few were availability is ensured. Many drug dependent people cannot access treatment, which is indispensable for pain relief and prevention of HIV transmission. Our government notes the increased attention paid to the topic in the international arena. There are possibilities for IMNCB to focus more its website on the availability of drugs to medical and scientific purposes, assess over time the availability for med and scientific purposes. UNODC can identify laws that create barriers to availability and monitor over time the changes in laws.

There is a need for a balanced approach. Increasing access to opioid medicine can increase diversion and abuse, but it should not be a barrier to access for medical and scientific purposes. This can be addressed by many means other than refusing access from those in need.

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