Published on: April 30, 2012

Here is an update on morphine sales from the Government Opium and Alkaloid Works, the only manufacturer of morphine powder in the country.  All of it is used in the country (India exports raw opium) and so this should reflect the consumption trend of morphine in the country.

The peaks in 2000 and 2001 was because of the huge quantity bought by the Government for free distribution to the regional cancer centers (RCCs). We know that most of it was never used.  The 2007 peak was a compensatory rise caused by interruptions in supply in the previous two years, and thus was artificial.

Despite these confounding factors, the fact remains that in the past four years, the consumption of morphine in the country has been stable, not rising. This is indeed worrying!