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India

India is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of opium, and its citizens have consumed the drug for both cultural and religious reasons for centuries. But in 1985, in response to pressure from the UN, the country passed the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act, which had the unintended consequence of rendering access to […]

India

is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of opium, and its citizens have consumed the drug for both cultural and religious reasons for centuries. But in 1985, in response to pressure from the UN, the country passed the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act, which had the unintended consequence of rendering access to morphine — a derivative of opium and the gold standard for pain treatment — virtually impossible. Thirteen years later, India’s central government asked its states to loosen their regulations. However just 13 of 28 states complied, and access to the drug remains scattered at best.

One notable exception is the state of Kerala, where the government changed its laws to ensure that terminally ill patients get the morphine they need. And until his state follows Kerala’s lead, Dr. Abhijit Dam has come up with a formulation of his own to help ease patients’ pain.

Kerala: How a State Mitigates Patients’ Suffering

      

The Koshish Cocktail: One Indian Doctor’s Alternative to Morphine

      

The Indian state of Kerala has cut through the red tape found elsewhere in the country to get pain medication to those who need it.

      

For terminally ill patients without access to adequate morphine, Dr. Abhijit Dam has come up with another solution.

Copyright © 2012 University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. All rights reserved.
Generous support provided by the Mindset Social Innovation Foundation and the MITACS Accelerate Project.