Access to pain relief
One of OPIS's key areas of focus is promoting access to effective pain relief to those in need. We are carrying out advocacy and education to help ensure that patients in moderate to severe pain from terminal cancer and other sources of severe heath-related suffering can obtain morphine - an issue that affects millions of people in low- and middle-income countries, and is now also affecting the US as a result of the authorities' drastic response to the opioid crisis. We have a close collaboration with Hospice Burkina to improve access to morphine and palliative care in Burkina Faso. We are also advocating for better treatments for cluster headache patients.
The following are some tools and links related to our work on morphine access:
• The press release in English, French and Spanish of our UN Human Rights Council expert panel event "Ending the Agony: Access to Morphine as an Ethical and Human Rights Imperative", held on 14 March 2018 in Geneva, in partnership with International Doctors for Healthier Drug Policies
• A 4-minute video montage with highlights and key messages from our Human Rights Council expert panel event
• OPIS-IDHDP contribution to OHCHR report on implementation of UNGASS joint commitment re: world drug problem and human rights, May 2018
• An article by Jonathan Leighton from OPIS (May 2018): Why Access to Morphine is a Human Right
• An interview by the Spanish news network "La Sexta" with Manu Herrán from OPIS about the opioid crisis in the US and how the misguided response is depriving patients with severe chronic pain of the medications they need
• "The other opioid crisis" - an article citing OPIS's work in the winter 2018 edition of New Humanist magazine. "While all the attention is on western drug misuse, 80 per cent of the world’s population goes without sufficient pain relief treatment."
"Problèmes d'accès aux antidouleurs à base de morphine, considérés comme des drogues": Reportage in French on Swiss public radio (21 March 2019) on the problem of access to morphine, including an interview with Jonathan Leighton of OPIS
Read about our collaboration with Hospice Burkina to facilitate access to pain relief in Burkina Faso.!
For prospective donors: This document provides an analysis of the effectiveness of supporting projects to extend access to morphine, and why they could be among the most cost-effective ways of relieving human suffering.