Overcoming barriers to access to controlled medicines – a webinar for civil society


Vienna (Austria), 27 January 2022 – Providing access to controlled medicines while preventing diversion is a key aspect of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, civil society has a key role to play both at the international and national level.  

In a webinar jointly organized by UNODC Civil Society Unit (CSU)and the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), experts from UNODC and civil society presented UNODC’s Global Program on Access to Controlled Medicines and best practices in overcoming barriers to access. They highlighted the need for cooperation across all sectors, international organizations, governments, civil society, caregivers, and patients 

Mirella Dummar Frahi, Chief of the CSU and Heloisa BroggiatoBoard member of the NGOs opened the webinar that gathered nearly 100 participants from around the world. Elizabeth Mattfeld, Global Coordinator of the Global Programme presented UNODC’s work on this topic and showed avenues for civil society to engage more effectively.  

The first civil society expert Mark Mwesiga from Palliative Care Association Uganda introduced the situation in Uganda and how through joint efforts between the Government, law enforcement and civil society, access to controlled medicines in rural areas was improved significantly.  

His intervention was followed by Smriti Rana from Pallium India who shared how her organization works in Kerala, India to improve patient care through training and community engagement.  

Dr Katherine Pettus from the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care concluded the presentations by stressing the importance of strong cooperation between governments and civil society. 

During the event, participants had the opportunity to ask questions mostly focused ovarious aspects of advocacy and improvement of care 

Concluding the event, Mirella Dummar Frahi thanked the United States and the Russian Federation for supporting this webinar and encouraged participants to visit the NGO Marketplace, an interactive online platform that allows NGOs to network, share drug-related experiences and expertise. 

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