Policy-makers are enormously important in improving the availability and accessibility to internationally controlled drugs, as they are responsible for developing and implementing regulations and laws that regulate production, manufacturing, import/export and use of those drugs.
UNODC Member States committed themselves to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including improving accessibility to essential medicines as highlighted in the Sub-goal 3.8.
Furthermore Member States adopted RES 30/1 (2016) at the UNGASS reaffirming a global commitment to address the world drug problem. The resolution includes operational recommendations on ensuring the availability of and access to controlled substances exclusively for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion and abuse.
Following the requests presented by Member States in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, more specifically in RES 53/4 on " Availability of Internationally Controlled Licit Drugs for Medical and Scientific Purposes" and RES 54/6 on " Availability of Internationally Controlled Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances for Medical and Scientific Purposes" it was decided to set up a global programme responding to the requests of Member States.
The UNODC " Discussion Paper " (2011) supports policy-makers in developing policies and national responses by providing information on the historical development and on the indispensability of medicines.
This document provides control measures to ensure safety and availability of those medications and it highlights the impediments to the availability which include:
The World Health Organization document: " Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances " (2011) provides guidelines for policy-makers and governments on the following thematic areas:
The document also provides the Country Assessment Checklist and also a full list of controlled medicines, as published in the document referenced above.
An additional useful document is the International Narcotics Control Board Report: " Ensuring Adequate Access for Medical and Scientific Purposes ".
The document is helpful to better understand the aims of the conventions and the indispensability of internationally controlled drugs and would also be helpful in creating and implementing the policies. The INCB provides global statistics for Narcotic and Psychotropic drugs including information on supply, availability and consumption together with information on the treatment of opioid dependence.
Policy-makers may also get further information on the availability in emergency situations and furthermore in the conclusions, the INCB provides recommendations that legislators and government officials shall follow.