Narcotics Board Calls for Closing the Global Pain Divide

BERLIN | VIENNA (IDN) – About 92 percent of morphine used worldwide is consumed by only 17 per cent of the world population – predominantly in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

While consumption in those countries has increased significantly since the early 1990s and there is growing concern about prescription drug abuse, more than 75 per cent of the people in several low and middle-income countries have no medical access to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

With this in view, the International Narcotics Board (INCB) has warned countries that inadequate access contradicts the notion of article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to medical care, which also encompasses palliative care. This warning comes ahead of the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS), which will take place in New York in April 2016.

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