WHO Policy guidelines ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances, guidance for availability and accessibility for controlled medicines

17 June 2011

The WHO Policy Guidelines for Controlled Substances provide guidance on policies and legislation with regards to availability, accessibility, affordability and control of medicines made from substances regulated under the international drug control conventions, herein referred to as “controlled medicines”. Their scope encompasses “all controlled medicines”, but with a specific focus on essential medicines. Controlled medicines play an important role in several areas of medicine, including pain treatment, treatment of opioid dependence, emergency obstetrics, psychiatry and neurology. The availability, accessibility and affordability of controlled medicines are important issues for all countries, but problematic for most of them.

This book elaborates on the background and then provides 21 guidelines on various topics: content of drug control legislation and policy; authorities and their role in the system; policy planning for availability and accessibility; healthcare professionals; estimates and statistics; procurement; and nationally listed drugs. Each guideline has an elucidation and a description of the legal context. The Country Assessment Checklist enables the user to determine which guidelines still need to be worked on. A CD-ROM provides additional information.

The English version of the Guidelines is available below for download. Click here to read the Guidelines in Armenian, Bulgarian, French, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Khmer, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian and Turkish.

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