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    For information only - not an official document

    15 November 2013

    INCB facilitates the emergency supply of medicines to typhoon victims in the Philippines

    VIENNA, 15 November 2013 (UN Information Service) - Responding to the humanitarian crisis caused by the typhoon in the Philippines, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has taken steps to hasten the supply of controlled medicines urgently needed by victims. INCB sent a letter to all exporting countries reminding them that there are simplified control procedures in place for the international provision of controlled medicines for emergency medical care.

    With many victims of the typhoon in the Philippines needing treatment, there is an acute shortage of medicines. Many of these contain narcotic drugs, such as morphine, and psychotropic substances, like pentazocine, that are under international control. Under normal circumstances, the import and transport of these medications are subject to strict regulatory requirements. However, in catastrophic situations these regulations may delay the urgent delivery of medications for emergency humanitarian relief as national authorities may not be in a position to take the administrative steps required. To solve this problem, INCB, together with the World Health Organization in 1996 devised simplified control procedures for the export, transport and import of controlled medicines for emergency medical care.

    Soon after the typhoon struck the Philippines, INCB in a letter reminded all exporting countries that they may apply these simplified control procedures to hasten the supply of urgently needed medicines to victims of the disaster. Under these simplified regulations, the need for import authorizations would be removed when the import and delivery of controlled medicines are handled by reputable humanitarian relief agencies.

    INCB has also informed providers of humanitarian assistance on these simplified regulations.

    The Model Guidelines for the International Provision of Controlled Medicines for Emergency Medical Care are available on the INCB website:

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    For further information, please contact:

     INCB Secretariat
    Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163
    Email: secretariat[at]