Access to opioidS On the world health agenda

OPIOID analgesics such as morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone are not available for pain relief across entire regions of the world, according to a group of experts.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has teamed up with the World Health Organisation in order to improve access.

Currently, 90% of the global consumption of opioid analgesics occurs in Australia, Canada, NZ, the US and Europe, while people in Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South Asia have little or none, the INCB said.

The use of drug control treaties should provide the mechanism to ensure medical availability of substances while at the same time preventing inappropriate use, the board said.