Promising Developments on Access to Opioids in India

2012 September 12
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As the Ministries of Revenue and Health are gearing up for an amendment to the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act of India to simplify it and to improve access to opioids for pain relief, there is mounting public awareness about the issue. The Times of India reports:

‘We want to make end of the terminally ill painless’

NEW DELHI: The availability of morphine — the cheapest and most effective painkiller — may soon be relaxed for medical use, helping reduce acute and chronic pain suffered by terminally ill cancer and HIV patients.

[…]

[Joint secretary Shakuntala Gamlin] added, “The Act needs to be relaxed and amended. We are studying international protocols to make the Act as patient friendly as possible.”

Dr M R Rajagopal, chairman of Pallium India and a part of the panel, says at least 20 lakh people need morphine but aren’t getting it.

“Paradoxically, India is supplying opium to the whole world but our own people are dying because of misapprehensions. Two most important barriers to availability of morphine are the complicated narcotic regulations and generations of doctors having no education or exposure to it,” Dr Rajagopal said.

Read more at The Times of India…

It is heartening that the media is supporting the issue and improving public awareness.

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