Ensuring patient access to essential medicines while minimizing harmful use: A revised WHO tool to improve national drug control policy

According to the WHO, the maximum public health benefit can only be attained through balanced policy and related activities (i.e., resulting in enhanced medication access for rational medical use while simultaneously curtailing morbidity or mortality from their harmful use). This dual obligation of countries is based on legal, political, public health, and moral imperatives. (…)
  • Access to controlled medicines

1. Content of drug control legislation and policy
  • Access to controlled medicines

The first two guidelines recognize the indispensability of controlled medicines, and urge governments to adopt and implement policies that ensure their adequate availability and accessibility:

  • National drug control policies should recognize that controlled medicines are absolutely necessary for medical and scientific purposes; and
  • Governments should comply with their international legal obligations to ensure adequate availability and accessibility of controlled medicines for all medical and scientific purposes through national legislation and drug control policies. (…)

Governments should examine their drug control legislation and policies for the presence of overly restrictive provisions that affect delivery of appropriate medical care involving controlled medications. They should also ensure that provisions aim at optimizing health outcomes and take corrective action as needed. Decisions which are ordinarily medical in nature should be taken by health professionals;

  • Access to controlled medicines

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Please read the full report for more information.