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    27 April 2015

    INCB asks countries to facilitate the emergency supply of medicines to victims of the earthquake in Nepal

    VIENNA, 27 April (UN Information Service) - Responding to the emergency situation caused by the earthquake in Nepal, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is asking countries to facilitate the supply of controlled medicines urgently needed by victims. INCB reminds all exporting countries that in such cases of emergency medical care simplified control procedures are in place for the international provision of controlled medicines.

    In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake aid workers and authorities in Nepal are facing many challenges. One of them is a possible shortage of medicines. Many medications used in anaesthesia or for pain relief, however, 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 emergencies 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 (WHO), in 1996 devised simplified control procedures for the export, transport and import of controlled medicines for emergency medical care.

    Under these simplified regulations, import authorizations can 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 about these simplified regulations.

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


    INCB is the independent, quasi-judicial body charged with promoting and monitoring Government compliance with the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

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    For further information, please contact:

    INCB Secretariat
    Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4151