World Health Organization

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 WHO Collaborating Center for Pain Policy and Palliative Care



The Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG), within the Carbone Cancer Center of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, has been designated a WHO Collaborating Center (WHOCC) since 1996.

The Terms of Reference (TOR) of the WHO Collaborating Center for Pain Policy and Palliative Care are as follows:

  • TOR 1: On request of the WHO, to provide technical assistance to promote palliative care for patients with cancer or other life-limiting conditions to WHO Member States, and other U.N. bodies (including the World Health Assembly and Commission on Narcotic Drugs) in response to increasing authoritative global calls for improving the availability and accessibility of opioid medications.
  • TOR 2: On request of the WHO, to provide technical assistance using WHO Guidelines, assess the context of balance and barriers in national pain policy, including controlled medicines laws and regulations; cooperate with and provide related information, education and assistance to units of the WHO (including the Cancer Control Programme and the Access to Controlled Medications Programme), national Governments, NGOs and individuals; develop methods to communicate with and train health professionals, regulators and policy makers about balanced drug control policy.
  • TOR 3: Develop methods to monitor and study national and international trends and policies related to the medical use of opioid medications.
  • TOR 4: Develop methods, including establishment of demonstration projects, to make opioids available under adequate control for the relief of pain in community-based programs and hospitals, consistent with international drug control conventions and WHO Guidelines and policies; spread the use of such methods nationally and internationally in developed and developing countries.
  • TOR 5: Collaborate and give technical assistance to WHO-Geneva Cancer Control Programme initiatives or country projects regarding palliative care, especially those concerning advocacy for availability of controlled medicines and development of pain policy.
  • TOR 6: Support PAHO’s efforts to negotiate policy changes for opioid availability through PAHO’s project on non-communicable disease policy.

Links to other WHO Collaborating Centres that address Pain Relief or Palliative Care within their Terms of Reference