Access to pain relief is a basic human right, yet it remains an unmet need for millions worldwide. In Odisha, the situation is no different. The availability of essential narcotic drugs (ENDs) for pain management is limited, and many patients suffer needlessly due to a lack of access to these drugs. In order to raise awareness among various stakeholders Pallium India, WHO Collaborating Centre for Training and Policy on Access to Pain Relief conducted a virtual workshop on April 17th, 2023. The workshop was attended by 35 participants, including officials from the Drug Controller’s office and medical professionals from various recognized medical institutions.
The workshop began with an introduction of the participants and a presentation on opioids by Dr. M R Rajgopal, the Chairman of Pallium India. The workshop’s objective was to ensure safe and uninterrupted access to Essential Narcotic Drugs (ENDs) for pain relief. The participants discussed the current scenario of ENDs in Odisha and the process to procure them, followed by an interactive session on the importance of the approval of Recognized Medical Institutions (RMI) and the correct procedure to apply for it.
The doctors shared their experiences regarding their dealings with the Drugs controller team, and the participants discussed the checklist required to apply for RMI approval. They also clarified myths and misconceptions regarding RMI certification.
The meeting ended with a commitment from Mr. Nilamadhab Dash, the Joint Drugs Controller, that his team will be proactive and issue RMI Certificates to all those who apply in the prescribed format and submit all required documents. He also promised to ensure that the process is completed at the earliest and not kept pending at their end.
The Drug Controller’s office received heartfelt thanks for attending the workshop in the presence of many Drug Inspectors from different districts. Special thanks were given to Mr. Nilamadhab Dash for his promise to support the cause of relieving the pain of suffering patients by supporting the medical institutes in the procurement of opioids through an RMI certificate.
Overall, this workshop was an important step towards ensuring safe and uninterrupted access to controlled medicines for pain relief in Odisha. It is encouraging to see that the Drug Controller’s office is committed to supporting this cause.