Policy

6 billion people do not have access to essential medicines for pain and palliative care when they need it. 86% of whom live in low and middle-income countries.

Despite this stark reality, amplified in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, access to opioid pain relief for persons suffering pain from cancer, HIV and other life limiting conditions is inadequate and fails to meet international conventions on access to essential medicines, according to the World Health Organization1

In order for essential medicines for pain management to reach each patient who experiences moderate to severe pain, there are complex interactive systems at play.

Policies that intersect with governance, healthcare and society2 overlap and intersect with international and national laws, regulations and enforcement entities.

The resources in this section highlight the Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) work over two decades to ensure that these each of the systems and influences affecting access to palliative care and pain relief are engaged through the Principle of Balance.

The Walther Center in Global Palliative Care & Supportive Oncology, building upon this seminal work, invites you to access these resources, along with the glossary for an explanation of terms to learn more about this issue. We hope you will find these resources helpful in providing context to soften the suffering for those awaiting essential medicines for pain and palliative care.

Walther Center in Global Palliative Care & Supportive Oncology

IU School of Medicine & IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center

540 Barnhill Drive
CL 370 H INTM
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: +1-(317) 278-4006