Friday, March 20, 2009

“Please, do not make us suffer any more…” | Human Rights Watch

UN General Assembly's Special Session on Drugs should address the lack of access to pain relief medicines, which leaves tens of millions of people worldwide suffering from severe but treatable pain, a leading rights watch body said on Sunday.

Human Rights Watch (HRW)in a report said that these pain relieving medicines are not available to people despite its low cost and the summit, which is starting from March 11, is an opportunity for all countries to address the the issue.

In its 47-page report, "'Please, Don't Make Us Suffer Anymore: Access to Pain Treatment as a Human Right", HRW said that countries could significantly improve access to pain medications by addressing the causes of their poor availability.

"Severe pain can easily be treated with inexpensive medications, so it is inexcusable that millions of people have to live and die in agony," Diederik Lohman, senior researcher in Human Rights Watch's health and human rights division, said.

"The UN drugs summit provides an opportunity for governments to give real meaning to their commitment to end this unnecessary suffering." he added. Failure to put in place functioning supply and distribution systems, absence of government policies to ensure their availability, insufficient instruction for healthcare workers, excessively strict drug-control regulations; and fear of legal sanctions among healthcare workers has made these drugs inaccessible, the report said.

To download the report, see: