'Centre mulls amending Narcotic Drugs Act to help patients'

Published: 15th July 2013 10:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2013 10:34 AM   |  A+A-

Union Secretary for Health and Family Welfare Keshav Desiraju said that the Central Government was looking into the requests from various quarters to withdraw the ban on pain-killer drug dextropropoxyphene, and a diabetes treatment drug pioglitazone, both cheap drugs, benefitting a large number of patients.

“Cheap painkillers is badly needed, especially in palliative care where patients are often end up in great pain. Morphine availability is a lot better in Kerala but there are a lot of states where the morphine availability is poor because it is also misused as a narcotic substance. So, we are looking to amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act so that morphine and other cheap painkillers become accessible for patients,’’ said Keshav Desiraju, while on a visit to the HLL Lifecare Centre at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. 

The Union Health Secretary lauded the State’s role in leading the country in palliative care.

‘’Some exceptionally good work is being done by several organisations, especially Pallium India. We will be discussing this issue of ban on pain killers in great detail,’’ he said.

It may be recalled that a petition in this regard, signed by the representatives of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC), WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Participation in Palliative Care and Long Term Care at the Institute of Palliative Medicine in Calicut and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy and Training in Access to Pain Relief at Pallium India, Thiruvananthapuram was sent to the Union Health Secretary a few weeks ago.

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