Global Opioid Policy Initiative

The Global Opioid Policy Initiative is the follow up of an earlier survey carried out in the European Region as a collaboration of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the European Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, (Annals of Oncology, March 2010). ESMO, EAPC, WHO, UICC and PPSG have been collaborating with a number of partners to collect information regarding opioid availability and accessibility in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. This data has been collected from identified key observers.

As part of the process, the collected data is open for your review.

The survey results for reach region can be viewed on the following.  Please comment on the collected data at the bottom of each regions page…..



Indian States

Latin America & Caribbbean

Middle East

About the Global Opioid Policy Initiative.
The under-treatment of cancer pain has been identified as a major international public health crisis. This is particularly so in many of the developing economies of the world and in many parts of the under developed world. Despite efforts by many international organizations to address this problem, and some limited successes in isolated countries, in the big picture relatively little headway has been made. Public health initiatives to address this problem are required but on a global and local scale. To be effective, public health initiatives must have a valid and reliable data as to what are the factors contributing to this health care dilemma. To date, collection of this data has been sporadic and not systematic. This lack of specific information may be one of the factors that have hampered progress to date.
All of the partners in this international collaborative project* understand the value of this study as the only international one with data of this kind. The data will have major health implications for cancer patients around the world.
The partners see themselves as having and international mission and commitment to improving the fate of cancer patients with pain. Many partner organizations have a proven track record of data collection from the diverse geographic locations, data verification and collation, and report presentation. The partner organizations have experience in teaming with other potential collaborative partners in projects of this kind.
This is the largest international collaboration program led by ESMO in any field and underscores the society’s commitment to supportive and palliative care on a global level as one of its major interests in an international setting. ESMO sees this as a project of major international significance that will both garner necessary data and mobilize a wide range of important collaborative partners to help address the issue of identifying and rectifying barriers to the availability of medication for the management of cancer pain in the developing world.
Project goals
The goal of this high profile project is to obtain reliable data regarding the availability and barriers to accessibility of opioids to cancer patients in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. A survey questionnaire will benchmark current standards against international standards set by WHO/International Narcotics Board, which implement and control UN drug conventions. The survey results will provide a critical resource for local, regional and international bodies addressing this vital human rights and public health issue of a person’s right to effective pain management.
It is hoped that the clear elucidation of barriers to accessibility will facilitate effective lobbying and policy development to address the necessary regulatory reform required to improve the availability and accessibility of opioids for the management of severe cancer pain.
Aims & objectives
1. To evaluate the formal availability and cost to the consumer of the range of opioid drugs used in the management of cancer
2. To evaluate the regulatory barriers to the accessibility of opioid drugs for patients with cancer pain in each participating country Results, outcomes

*Coordinating partners
European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
European Association Palliative Care (EAPC)
Pain and Policies Studies Group (PPSG), University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
World Health Organization (WHO)

*Collaborating partners
Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network
African Palliative Care Association (APCA)
Middle East Cancer Consortium
International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC)
Latin American Association for Palliative Care (ALCP)
Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)
Indian Association of Palliative Care
Open Society Foundation (OSF)
World Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA)


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