Pain relief is a fundamental part of human dignity and palliative care. Toward this end, access to essential medicines for pain and palliative care are 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.
While these policies are necessary, they also often result in the people most needing relief, people living with palliative care needs, not having these essential medicines available when they most need it.