Published on: October 13, 2016

A new WHO document titled “The Preventable Pain Pandemic” points out examples from Mexico and India as places where progress has been made but where there is plenty of room for future work. It is 39 years now since the WHO placed morphine on its essential medicine list, and “considers it the gold standard in pain management and relief.” India also has this medicine on its essential list; yet less than 1% of the hospitals stock or use it.

It is high time the situation changed. This WHO document calls for “balance in national policies”.