INCB Learning holds regional awareness raising workshop on the availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes


VIENNA, 23 June 2023 - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Learning programme held a two-day virtual workshop on June 8 and 9 to raise awareness about the availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. The workshop was part of INCB's ongoing efforts to support Member States in ensuring that essential controlled medicines are available while preventing their diversion and misuse.

The event brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including officials from the competent national authorities of seven Russian-speaking countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It also included representatives from palliative care associations, experts in drug control and public health, and members of the international community, including the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and other partners.

In her welcoming remarks, Board Member Dr. Galina Korchagina stated: "The international drug control system was created with the aim of protecting the health and well-being of all people and must be implemented in a comprehensive, balanced, and proportionate manner. Through this workshop, we aim to strengthen the capacity of competent national authorities and raise awareness among governments regarding the necessity of ensuring adequate availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. We hope that as a result of this seminar, we will observe a high level of engagement between the Board and your Institutions."

Board Member Mr. Pachta, Chair of the INCB working group on availability of controlled substances, also addressed the opening of the meeting. He highlighted the role of INCB in supporting governments and spoke about the progress and challenges in the field. Mr. Pachta stated, "We still have to strengthen the awareness of this problem, and this workshop has for its objective to do just this. We have to provide training to those who are carrying out at the national level activities related to estimating requirements for controlled substances and ensuring their availability and adequate access to them, and this workshop is part of this training effort."

Throughout the two days, participants discussed various topics including regulatory frameworks, barriers to access, and the importance of national and international cooperation in ensuring the availability of controlled substances.

One of the highlights of the workshop was the presentation of the supplement to the INCB Annual Report 2022 entitled " No Patient Left Behind: Progress in Ensuring Adequate Access to Internationally Controlled Substances for Medical and Scientific Purposes" which offered insights into the progress and ongoing challenges in ensuring adequate access to internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. The report serves as a resource for policy makers, regulators, and other stakeholders in their efforts to improve access to internationally controlled medicines.

In addition, INCB Learning launched its module in Russian aiming at enhancing the skills and knowledge of national authorities in handling controlled substances. This reflects INCB's commitment to capacity-building and making resources accessible in various languages.

The seminar concluded with participants expressing interest in applying the knowledge gained in their respective countries. Through the INCB Learning programme, INCB is committed to continuing to support Member States in fulfilling their responsibilities under the international drug control conventions. It recognizes the vital importance of international collaboration and is dedicated to facilitating dialogue and cooperation in addressing the challenges faced by countries to ensure the availability of controlled substances.

INCB Learning has been made possible through the generous contributions of the Governments of Australia, Belgium, France, Russian Federation, Thailand and the United States of America. This workshop was funded by the Russian Federation.

The Board is grateful for the contributions received since the programme was established
in 2016 and invites Governments to consider actively supporting INCB Learning by participating in its activities and providing the resources required to ensure continuation of the programme.

For further information, please contact INCB Learning at

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