International Narcotic Control Board Annual Report
“Indispensable, adequately available and not unduly restricted” these are the words used in the international drug conventions to underline the importance of making controlled substances available for medical purposes. INCB is launching the Availability of Internationally Controlled Drugs report today in Vienna. The report is a supplement to the 2015 Annual Report of the INCB and was prepared to follow up on the implementation by Governments of the Board’s recommendations contained in the 2010 Availability Report.
The present report publishes the global data on consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control and compared them with impediments reported by 106 countries.
Opioid analgesics are indispensable for the treatment of pain caused by cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, childbirth, surgery, injuries and other conditions or situations. The data available indicate that 75% of the world population have limited or no access to proper pain relief treatment.
Likewise, psychotropic substances are essential for the treatment of several mental health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, access to such treatment still remains insufficient, particularly in low and middle-income countries.
The lack of availability of internationally controlled substances has been attributed to a series of impediments, such as lack of training and awareness among health professionals, fear of addiction, onerous regulations and others.
In its report, the Board highlights several recommendations to ensure the availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their abuse and illicit trafficking. These recommendations include the review of laws and regulations to improve access to internationally controlled substances, the improvement in the training and awareness of health professionals.