INCB and Member States engage in an open dialogue on ensuring adequate access to internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes

VIENNA, 6 November 2019 - During the 126th session of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), time was dedicated to engaging in an open dialogue with representatives of Member States to discuss Governments' actions, achievements, challenges and needs in the context of efforts to ensure adequate access to internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes.

Discussion focused on implementing the way ahead presented by the Board in Chapter V of its special report, Progress in ensuring adequate access to internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, which was published as a supplement to the INCB annual report 2018 earlier this year.

In his opening words, the INCB President, Cornelis de Joncheere, addressed the over-prescription of controlled medicines on the one hand, and on the other hand the ongoing lack of availability in most low- and middle-income countries and regions. Despite a total global increase in availability for consumption, the inequity and imbalance remain evident, and has serious consequences for the health of people. It was emphasized that adequate access to internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes is a priority for INCB.

The INCB President called upon governments to make use of the tools that INCB has developed to assist States to improve access and availability, such as INCB Learning, which helps build the capacity of competent national authorities, and I2ES, which facilitates the real-time exchange of import and export authorizations between trading countries.

In closing, Mr. de Joncheere expressed appreciation for the cooperation of governments, together with the assistance of international organizations and civil society, to ensure the implementation of the three drug control conventions.

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