Note - Changes in the Scope of Control

Abstract

The international treaties on narcotic drugs make provision for changes in the scope of control by means of a procedure which involves governments, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization, in particular its Expert Committee on Addiction-producing Drugs. The procedure may be applied not only in respect of the extension of control to new drugs, but also in respect of exemption from control of drugs or their preparations.

Details

Pages: 44 to 44
Creation Date: 1962/01/01

Note - Changes in the Scope of Control

The international treaties on narcotic drugs make provision for changes in the scope of control by means of a procedure which involves governments, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization, in particular its Expert Committee on Addiction-producing Drugs. The procedure may be applied not only in respect of the extension of control to new drugs, but also in respect of exemption from control of drugs or their preparations.

The international procedure for extending control to new drugs is put into motion upon an application being made by a government to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who transmits it immediately to all states parties to the relevant convention and the international bodies concerned, including the World Health Organization. The latter subsequently decides whether the substance considered is susceptible of producing addiction or convertible into such a substance. If so, it is placed under one of the two existing control regimes provided in the conventions. Any positive decision is ultimately communicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to all governments, whereupon the drug in question enters the control system.

In the case of the exemption from control of drugs or their preparations, the procedure is similar except that, as regards exemption of preparations, the World Health Organization can act on its own initiative.

During 1961, several requests were received from governments regarding extension of control to new substances or for exemption from control of preparations of narcotics drugs. The World Health Organization decided that:

The following substances and their respective salts should be placed under the more severe of the two principal regimes of control applying to narcotic drugs, viz., under that which is applicable to morphine or morphine-like drugs: noracymethadol; methadone-intermediate; moramide-intermediate; pethidine-intermediate-A; pethidine-intermediate-B.

Certain medical preparations, including two specific preparations considered by the Expert Committee, containing the narcotic drug diphenoxylate should be exempted from control as they cannot cause addiction, in particular on account of the medicaments with which diphenoxylate is compounded and which in practice preclude the recovery of the narcotic drug involved.

There is no obligation to place the following drugs under the control system envisaged in the international treaties on narcotic drugs as they are not capable of producing addiction or of conversion into a product capable of producing addiction: (-)-3 hydroxy-N-propargylmorphinan; metethoheptazine; metheptazine; oxpheneridine.

There is no evidence that nicocodine has addiction liability, but it is readily capable of conversion into an addiction producing drug. The drug should fall under either the stricter regime applicable to such drugs as morphine or under the more lenient regime applicable to such drugs as codeine. 1

Article 11, paragraph 4, of the 1931 Convention provides that "the question whether the drug in question shall fall under sub-group ( b) of group I or under group II shall be referred for decision to a body of three experts competent to deal with the scientific and technical aspects of the matter, of whom one member shall be selected by the Government concerned, one by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Economic and Social Council and the third by the two members so selected."