Message from the Chair and Executive Director

2013; Volume 14, No 8, August

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Dear readers:

We are very happy to announce great news for palliative care around the globe!

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published the new editions of the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines for Children and Adults. The new editions include several changes, two of which are very important for the field of palliative care:

  1. The lists of medicines for palliative care which were originally located under the oncology section (8.4) have been moved to a new, separate section (section 2) called Medicines for Pain and Palliative Care. The new section number 2 includes 3 subsections:
    • Non-opioids and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIMs)
    • Opioid Analgesics; and
    • Medicines for other symptoms common in palliative care.
    Dr. Willem Scholten, consultant for the WHO, had submitted an application to move this section for the children's Model List with a request also to do the same for the adult List.
  2. 2. A list of medications used to treat the most common symptoms occurring in palliative care.

Last year IAHPC submitted to the WHO secretariat an application for the list of medicines for palliative care plus a request of the WHO Expert Committee to move the list out of the oncology section. Many thanks to Dr. Lukas Radbruch, our Chair-elect, and all the other members of the committee who worked hard in this process.

We are very happy with the results of the Expert Committee's work. The inclusion of the essential medicines for palliative care will help improve access to treatment for patients with life threatening conditions. This edition of the NL includes a copy of the press release which was sent out by IAHPC with the link to the list.

This month we will be adding a new section in the Newsletter which lists all the individuals who have received IAHPC grants. We believe they deserve public recognition for their efforts. Congratulations to all of them.

We also wish to congratulation Dr. Gayatri Palat, one of our board members, for the recent opening of an in-patient center/hospice in Hyderabad. Dr. Palat writes:

Our NGO, the Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society, Hyderabad has started a new in-patient/ hospice Centre as an extension of its home care and outreach services. The setting up of this center completes our circle of care and will help us fulfill our mission of ensuring that every patient who is in pain has access to care. The center is a 25 bedded facility situated in a nice green place in the heart of the city This is one big step forward in our efforts towards improving the quality of life of those suffering from chronic pain and terminal illnesses.”

Remember that we are now on Facebook! Feel free to browse, leave comments and contact your colleagues and friends in palliative care through our page here.

During this time of the year many of our colleagues around the globe celebrate their vacation as a reward for the hard work they do throughout the year. To those who are enjoying some time off, we wish you a restful vacation and safe travels wherever you go.

Until next month,

Roberto Wenk, MD

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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