Published on: July 24, 2020

The most prevalent symptoms in COVID-19 are breathlessness, cough, drowsiness, anxiety, agitation, and delirium. Frequently used medicines include opioids such as morphine or fentanyl and midazolam, all of them listed as Internationally Controlled Essential Medicines (ICEM).

In a paper titled Availability of Internationally Controlled Essential Medicines in the COVID-19 Pandemic, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (Volume 60, Issue 2, August 2020), authors Katherine Pettus, James F.Cleary, Liliana de Lima, Ebtesam Ahmed and Lukas Radbruch describe the issues related to the lack of availability and limited access to ICEMs during the COVID-19 pandemic in both intensive and palliative care patients in countries of all income levels and makes recommendations for improving access.

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