INCB highlights the need to ensure access to controlled medicines in Israel and Gaza 

VIENNA, 23 October 2023 - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) remains deeply concerned about the humanitarian emergency in Israel and Gaza. With acute and growing humanitarian needs resulting from this emergency, INCB reminds States of their obligation to ensure the availability of internationally controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical purposes, in accordance with the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

Urgent action is required to ensure unimpeded access to medications, including medicines containing internationally controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. These are essential in ensuring health and wellbeing, and are used in anaesthesia and for pain management, the treatment of mental health and neurological conditions.

INCB reminds all Governments that in acute emergencies it is possible to utilize simplified control procedures for the export, transportation, and provision of medicinal products containing controlled substances. Competent national authorities may permit the export of medicines containing narcotic drugs and/or psychotropic substances to the areas affected in the absence of the corresponding import authorizations and/or estimates. Urgent deliveries do not need to be included in the estimates of the receiving country.

Competent national authorities may find further information in the Guidelines for the International Provision of Controlled Medicines for Emergency Medical Care and Lessons from countries and humanitarian aid organizations in facilitating the Timely Supply of Controlled Substances during Emergency Situations, available on the INCB website.

The Board and its secretariat stand ready to provide further information and guidance to Governments to facilitate the licit movement of internationally controlled substances during emergency situations.

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