Guardian (UK): US attack on WHO 'hindering morphine drive in poor countries'

19 September, 2019

Opening sentences below. Full text here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/18/us-attack-world-health-o...

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US attack on WHO 'hindering morphine drive in poor countries'

Claims have hurt efforts to help people around world in acute pain, say palliative care experts

An attack on the World Health Organization (WHO) by US politicians accusing it of being corrupted by drug companies is making it even more difficult to get morphine to millions of people dying in acute pain in poor countries, say experts in the field.

Representatives of the hospice and palliative care community said they were stunned by the Congress members’ report, which they said made false accusations and would affect people suffering in countries where almost no opioids were available.

“At least 5 billion people live in countries where there is limited or no availability of opioids for pain treatment,” according to the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHCP). More than 18 million people a year worldwide die with “untreated, excruciating pain”, the organisation says.

The report by the Democratic congresswoman Katherine Clark and the Republican congressman Hal Rogers, published in May, has undermined efforts to encourage governments to buy generic morphine or other appropriate opioids and doctors to prescribe them, dealing a severe blow to the struggle to help people dying in acute pain from cancer, Aids, injuries and other conditions, the IAHPC says...

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with almost 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org