INCB, WHO and UNODC assertion on entry to internationally managed medicines throughout COVID-19 pandemic

Scope (COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 sufferers affected by the pandemic)

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) name on governments to make sure that the procurement and provide of managed medicines in nations meet the
wants of sufferers, each those that have COVID-19 and those that require internationally managed medicines for different medical circumstances.

There is a necessity to make sure entry to managed medicines akin to sedatives and analgesics for intubation protocols for the remedy of sufferers with COVID-19. Non-COVID sufferers proceed to require managed medicines for the administration of ache
and palliative care, surgical care and anaesthesia, psychological well being and neurological circumstances, and for the remedy of drug use issues.

It is necessary to recollect the wants of present sufferers who require managed medicines for the administration of those well being circumstances. These sufferers confronted limitations to accessing managed medicines earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic
has additional resulted in interruptions of the medicines provide chain, and it’s essential that entry to important well being companies and drugs not be forgotten or de-prioritised throughout this pandemic.

Need for equitable entry

As the pandemic more and more impacts nations with under-resourced well being infrastructure and companies, it’s an moral crucial to make sure that all individuals in all nations of the world are capable of entry important medicines. This contains these medicines
which can be below worldwide management.

Governments ought to be sure that adequate portions of internationally managed medicines, of assured high quality, can be found and inexpensive to individuals below medical care.  Throughout the length of the pandemic and past the acute part of burden
on the healthcare infrastructure, it’s essential that governments work cooperatively to make sure that no nation, no area, no district, no metropolis and no affected person is left behind. Competent nationwide authorities, producers, suppliers and distributors
play a vital function in making certain that internationally managed medicines urgently wanted for medical remedy can be found inside and throughout nationwide borders.  The provide chain is the muse of high quality medical care as a result of with out the
needed provides, together with important managed medicines, sufferers will endure.

Solutions to handle limitations

Governments are reminded that in acute emergencies, it’s doable below the International Drug Control Conventions to make the most of simplified management procedures for the export, transportation and provide of medicinal merchandise containing managed substances,
particularly in these circumstances the place the competent authorities within the importing nations will not be working at full capability. Competent nationwide authorities could allow the export of medicines containing narcotic medicine and/or psychotropic substances
to affected areas even within the absence of the corresponding import authorizations and/or estimates. Urgent deliveries don’t must be included within the estimates of the receiving nations affected by emergencies. When doable, competent nationwide
authorities are additionally inspired to subject digital import and export authorizations by way of the INCB International Import and Export Authorization System (I2ES), PEN Online and share associated contingency measures within the discussion board therein.


Countries ought to ease COVID-19 associated transport restrictions for managed medicines and think about native manufacturing options when possible, to fulfill the COVID-19 pushed demand spikes.

To help nations as they work to seek out options to the dearth of entry and availability of managed medicines, the three organizations recommend the next technical help and assist paperwork:

  • Countries are inspired to check with the Guide on Estimating Requirements for Substances below International Control developed by the International Narcotics Control Board and the World Health Organization to be used by Competent National Authorities.
  • Countries are inspired to check with WHO’s toolkit on the medical care of extreme acute respiratory infections, which incorporates steering on using managed medicines for the remedy of COVID-19 sufferers.
  • Countries are additional suggested to make the most of WHO’s operational steering for sustaining important companies throughout an outbreak to stability the calls for of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic while concurrently making certain that important well being companies
    and provision of medicine for different ongoing medical circumstances are maintained.
  • Countries are inspired to check with normative steering such because the WHO List of Essential Medicines and pointers for the pharmacological and radiotherapeutic administration of most cancers ache in adults and adolescents.
  • Countries are additional suggested to check with and make the most of the methods offered in UNODC’s Technical Guidance: Increasing Access and Availability of Controlled Medicines developed in collaboration with specialists, civil society companions and different worldwide
  • Under the UNODC-WHO-UICC Joint Global Program, nations are inspired to succeed in out to UNODC and WHO for technical help and assist on the nationwide stage that additionally includes civil society companions.



The work of medical doctors, nurses, and well being care professionals typically, who present remedy and care to individuals together with probably the most susceptible, must be supported and secure and efficient medicines needs to be out there, accessible and inexpensive in any respect
occasions for individuals who want them.

INCB, WHO and UNODC are dedicated to proceed to work collectively to handle this essential subject and can increase joint efforts to interact with different companions and improve advocacy and technical help to nations for enhancing entry to managed
medicines through the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate limitations to make sure that each sufferers affected by COVID-19 or by different non-COVID-related circumstances requiring medicines below worldwide management have entry to those medicines once they want them.