Guide on Estimating Requirements for Substances under International Control
The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and global experts joined forces to develop a new tool to assist countries to estimate their annual requirements for narcotic drugs for medical purposes. An important treaty requirement of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is that National Competent Authorities (NCA) shall submit these estimates annually to the INCB in order to ensure that the amounts of available narcotic drugs and other psychoactive substances are limited to quantities required for medical and scientific purposes.
However, some countries do not submit these reports, or some submit estimates that are very low with no chance of meeting the medical need in their country that can be supported by their existing healthcare infrastructure. Lack of report or incorrect report can serve as one of many barriers to patient access to these medications by slowing or preventing exports of the medications into the country.
Therefore, in order to allow for increased consumption of these medications, the WHO and INCB convened a working group that drafted a new document called “Guide on Estimating Requirements for Substances under International Control.” Intended to assist NCAs in calculating the estimated requirements for controlled substances, the Guide identifies different methods, explains their potential strengths and weaknesses, and provides an overview of the major issues that need to be considered in order to apply these methods accurately.