This briefing is intended to contribute to the discussion at the Plenary session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and will focus on three main points:

  • Drug control systems in many countries around the world today fail to ensure adequate availability of controlled medications, as required by the UN drug conventions;
  • Several low and middle income countries are successfully taking steps to overcome regulatory barriers that impede the availability of controlled medicines; and
  • Responsible regulatory reform does not lead to increased diversion or misuse.

Speakers from different regions of the world will provide information on ways in which availability problems have been tackled in their country.

The event will be conducted by the WHO Access to Controlled Medications Programme, the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the UK Department for International Development, and the Drug Control and Access to Medicines Consortium, and is co-sponsored by the Drug Control and Access to Medicines Consortium and the Open Society Institute.