Release of the Morphine Manifesto

Millions of people are in needless pain because simple inexpensive medication is denied to them.

In conjunction with World Cancer Day 2012 (February 4th, 2012), Pallium India, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), and the Pain & Policy Studies Group / WHO Collaborating Center at the University of Wisconsin, have released a Morphine Manifesto.

Signed by leading organizations and foundations from around the world, including INCTR, and covering cancer pain management, and hospice & palliative care organizations, this Manifesto calls for an end to the unethical practice of promoting access to expensive opioid analgesics without also making available low cost immediate release oral morphine.

Furthermore, it calls upon governments, health care institutions, and the pharmaceutical industry to assure the accessibility of immediate release morphine to patients in need at a cost that the individual and community can afford.

Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, and the driving force behind the creation of the Morphine Manifesto, states: Prolonged unrelieved pain destroys the mind; destroys the body; destroys families. Inexpensive and effective immediate release morphine can relieve most of such pain. We cannot call ourselves a cultured or ethical society if we deprive this relief to those in pain; or worse yet, benefit financially from this suffering by forcing expensive, unaffordable alternatives on them.

Dr. Jim Cleary, Director of the University of Wisconsin Pain & Policy Studies Group, asserts: The Institute of Medicine’s recent statement that ‘effective pain management is a moral imperative, a professional responsibility, and the duty of people in the healing professions’ applies to the entire world. Access to low-cost immediate release oral morphine would be a great start in bringing effective pain management to the 83% of the world's population with low or non-existent access to opioid analgesics.

Ms. Liliana De Lima, Executive Director of the IAHPC remarks: We hope that the manifesto will motivate governments to eliminate excessive and unnecessary regulatory requirements which affect access to opioids and to work with the pharmaceutical industry to facilitate the production and distribution of immediate release oral morphine to all patients in need.

Dr. Eric Krakauer of Harvard Medical School, member of the drafting team, adds: Access to pain relief is a human right. Making immediate release oral morphine accessible by all is a moral imperative.

To read and sign the Morphine Manifesto click on http://palliumindia.org/manifesto/

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