Economic and Social Council


739th Plenary Meeting
28 July 1953

1953/505(XVI)C.The problem of synthetic drugs


The Economic and Social Council,

Considering the increasing importance of the therapeutic use of synthetic drugs throughout the world,

Having regard to the considerable number of aspects of the problem,

Taking into account the report 63/ submitted by the Secretary-General to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on the problem of synthetic drugs and the recommendations of the Commission,

1. Invites the World Health Organization to prepare, in consultation with the United Nations Secretariat, information regarding the views expressed in the technical literature on the following problems:

(a) The addictive properties and therapeutic advantages of synthetic narcotics as compared with natural narcotics;

(b) The status of scientific knowledge on the relationship between the chemical structure of a drug and its addictive properties;

(c) The relationship between the strongly analgesic qualities of a drug and its addiction-producing properties; and to transmit this information to the Commission in order to enable it to give further consideration to the question of the studies required in this field and the method of carrying them out;

2. Invites the governments represented on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and those of other important drug-manufacturing countries to furnish the Secretariat with such information on the following subjects as they may be able to provide:

(a) The question of the extent to which synthetic analgesics in general and synthetic opium alkaloids in particular are replacing, or are likely to replace in the future, natural narcotics made from opium and from poppy straw;

(b) The question whether the manufacture of synthetic drugs is desirable only when it presents economic or therapeutic advantages, or whether such manufacture is desirable even where no such advantages exist;

(c) Their view on the provisional measures referred to in part II, section 2, of document E/CN.7/259/Rev. 1 and on the applicability or inapplicability of the control measures referred to in part III;

(d) The question whether, having regard on the one hand to the control problems involved, and on the other hand to the relevant economic and therapeutic considerations, it is desirable:

(i) To prohibit the use of synthetic drugs, or

(ii) To limit their number;

3. Requests the Secretariat to prepare compilations of the information so obtained and to submit them to the Commission for its consideration.

739th plenary meeting,
28 July 1953

63/ See document E/CN.7/259/Rev.1.