Why the International Pain Policy Fellowship?
Pain relief is a fundamental part of palliative care. Toward this end, access to opioid analgesic medicines is essential. Because opioid medicines also have a potential for non-medical use, they are controlled by international treaties and national laws. Very limited access to opioid medicines in some countries results, at least in part, from unduly strict national drug control and healthcare regulatory policies.
Although the incidence of cancer is increasing globally, the disease burden falls disproportionately on low- and middle-income countries. Many patients in these countries lack access to the opioid medicines that the World Health Organization designates as essential medicines. This International Pain Policy Fellowship (IPPF) program, led by some of the world's experts in opioid availability, can empower motivated health professionals and policy makers to evaluate and improve their country's regulatory environment without sacrificing the security of the existing drug control system.