CND Plenary Day 1 – replies on access to essential medicines

China
Treaty aims to allow access and limit abuse. All drugs must have a license to be exported or imported. International verification is used to prevent diversion.

Switzerland
According to the INCB there is sufficient supply of opioid material. Access to these substances is limited. Most of the world’s population lacks access for medical use. Untreated moderate to severe pain takes a big impact on people and their families. When opioids are over regulate it impairs the ability of health care systems to help people. Ask INCB to give more attention to this. We urge the INCB to work with WHO on this.

United Kingdom
The INCB is opening up a , but we need to know what policies can be implemented to ensure access to essential medicines. Activities should be systemic and adequately reflect the scale of the situation. Last week we had valuable discussions during the HLS and it would be good to have a follow up on that meeting. People tend to speak only about opioids and we welcome Mr. Yans’ mention of sedatives. A few years ago, the UK Medical Science community declared that we didn’t have enough medication for psychiatric treatment. When people think of scheduling one drug because they say there is no medical use – we need to actually say that there is no use “as yet”. We need to improve the range of medicines available. We should do better next year on this issue.

USA
The USA is one of the major consumers of opioids, and I want to provide an update on trying to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs, outlining a programme introduce in 2011. It has 4 major action items:

  • education on the prescription of drugs and for prescribers too
  • monitoring, important in our federal state that we share data among states
  • proper disposal of medication, including convenient disposal programmes to decrease the supply of prescription drugs in our communities
  • law enforcement to eliminate improper prescriptions
  • prevention of harms on abuse, including overdose deaths, this includes naloxone distribution

I salute the efforts of WHO in working with other countries to develop programmes for pain relief for cancer patients and others.

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