Ensure Availability of Effective, Inexpensive Medications
(Yerevan) – Thousands of patients with advanced cancer in Armenia suffer from avoidable, severe pain every year because they cannot get adequate pain medications, Human Rights Watch said in a report and video released today. While effective, safe, and inexpensive pain medications are available in Armenia, most patients and their families face insurmountable bureaucratic barriers to getting them, in violation of the right to health.
The 86-page report, “‘All I Can Do Is Cry’: Cancer and the Struggle for Palliative Care in Armenia,” describes the devastating impact of the lack of palliative care on people with advanced cancer and their families. It documents the overall lack of palliative care services in Armenia and the government’s overly restrictive regulations for getting strong pain medication. It also describes ingrained practices among healthcare professionals that impede adequate pain relief, and the lack of training and education of healthcare professionals in palliative care.
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