Policy and Advocacy Issues

2014; Volume 15, No 5, May

Policy and Advocacy Issues

Read about the WHA Side event- ATOME project (or scroll down).

Congratulations to Dr. Katherine Pettus, Phd for her new appointment as IAHPC Advocacy Officer!

Dr. Katherine Pettus will be serving as the Advocacy Officer for Palliative Care and Human Rights and will be based in Geneva, where she will be participating in meetings and conferences, getting to know key mission representatives and building constructive relationships to further advance palliative care globally.

In addition to this position, Dr. Pettus also serves as IAHPC liaison to the International Drug Policy Consortium and the Vienna NGO Coalition on Drugs. In this capacity, she has coordinated IAHPC co-sponsored side events at UN meetings, especially the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna and the World Health Organization in Geneva, developing relationships with government representatives and NGOs to increase local, national, and global access to medicines for palliative care. Katherine has travelled widely in Europe, Africa, and India, lecturing, reporting, and advocating for improved access to essential medicines.

Dr. Pettus holds a Masters’ Degree in Advanced Studies in Health, Law and Policy from the University of California San Diego and California Western School of Law, as well as a Doctorate in Political Theory from Columbia University in New York. She has been presenting at international palliative care meetings since 2010 and is a regular contributor to the Policy section of the IAHPC Newsletter.

Dr. Pettus brings her commitment to advancing the twin issues of palliative care and human rights to her job as IAHPC Advocacy Officer in Geneva.

Dr. Pettus stated: It is a great honor to be appointed to the position of IAHPC Advocacy Officer for Human Rights and Palliative Care. I look forward to serving my palliative care colleagues and their patients around the world as we work together to translate the universal human aspiration to be free from suffering into a right to palliative care.

IAHPC Hosts WHA Side Event - Access to Opioid Medicines in Europe and the World: Findings of the ATOME Project for Eastern Europe and consequences for other countries and for palliative care

Co-sponsors: Latvia*, Hungary*, Panama, Romania**, World Health Organization**, European Association for Palliative Care**, Harm Reduction International**, Help the Hospices**, Human Rights Watch and the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance.
* Countries where ATOME is working; ** Consortium Members of the ATOME Program

Access to opioid medicines is a major problem in most countries around the world. They are necessary for the treatment of moderate and severe pain, for treatment of opioid dependence and for the prevention of blood borne disease, such as HIV and hepatitis C. Although these medicines are considered essential medicines by WHO, these medicines are beyond reach for some 5.6 billion people due to over-emphasis on drug control. In palliative care, access to opioid medicines is the first major problem almost everywhere.

The Access to Opioid Medications in Europe (ATOME) Project (www.atome-project.eu) addressed the inadequate consumption of opioid medicines in 12 eastern European countries by analyzing policies and legislation and promoting awareness of the problem among policy makers, health care professionals and the general public. As part of the program, WHO developed its policy guidelines Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances, Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines, which is available in 15 languages [1].

ATOME is funded by the EU 7th Framework Program and started in December 2009. It is conducted by a consortium of 10 member organizations from 7 European countries (including the Romanian National Anti-Drug Agency, the European Association for Palliative Care, Harm Reduction International, universities and other) and the World Health Organization.

The program will include presentations by Professor Lukas Radbruch, Chair of IAHPC, describing the ATOME project; Doctor Willem Scholten, consultant on medicines and controlled substances, addressing issues related to Problematic access to opioid medicines for pain and treatment of dependence; as well as representatives from Romania, Hungary, Latvia and other NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, the European Association for Palliative Care, Harm Reduction International and the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance.

If you plan to be in Geneva during the WHA, come to this event and learn how the ATOME project and country leaders are working to improve access to pain treatment.

Date: 19 May 2014
Hour: 18:30 – 20:00
Address; Domaine des Penthes, chemin de l’Impératrice 18, 1292 Pregny-Chambésy,

How to get there:

Reception after the event.


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