World Health Organization
Latin America consumes less than 2.7% of the morphine in the world, as reported by the governments to the International Narcotics Control Board. Methods to improve access to opioids for the treatment of pain have been developed by the Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG), a World Health Organization Collaborating Center at the University of Wisconsin. This article describes the preparation and implementation of an action plan in Colombia as a part of an international fellowship program on opioid policy developed by the PPSG and funded by the Open Society Institute.
In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a series of 21 guidelines to assist governments in improving their national drug control laws, regulations, and administrative procedures to promote the availability of controlled medicines for pain relief and for a variety of acute and chronic diseases and conditions. These guidelines ultimately are designed to encourage the development of policies designed to fulfill a country's dual obligation concerning these medicines: to prevent their abuse, diversion and trafficking while ensuring access for medical and scientific purposes.
A preliminary review of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) model drug control laws was conducted by the Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) to determine whether the models provided governments with language they can use to carry out the obligation to ensure adequate availability of opioid analgesics for the relief of pain and suffering, specified in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 as amended, and as recommended by the International Narcotics Control Board in 1995. The results showed that current model laws lack the drug availability provisions.