During the month of August many readers were on vacation, including ourselves. If you were too, we hope that you enjoyed the rest. We certainly did!!
As many of you are aware, back in the July Newsletter, we announced that on May 22, 2019, two members of the United States House of Representatives published a report claiming (falsely) that the development of two World Health Organization (WHO) guidance documents (“Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances” and “Guidelines on the Pharmacological Treatment of Persisting Pain in Children with Medical Illnesses”) were influenced by the interests of Purdue Pharma, through organizations and individuals serving the interests of the pharmaceutical company. Among the organizations and individuals named in this report are the IAHPC, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) and others. Among the individuals named are Dr. Kathleen Foley (Chair of IAHPC from 2005 to 2007) and Liliana. On June 19, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to the U.S. Representatives to inform them that the WHO had taken the concerns raised by the report “very seriously,” and that the agency had decided to withdraw the two guidelines. The WHO issued a statement on its website. In response to the accusations from the U.S. Representatives and to WHO’s decision to withdraw the guidelines, several organizations prepared a joint statement endorsed by more than 150 organizations, asking that new guidelines be established and that the current ones be reinstated until a revision is ready.
We are glad to inform you that the WHO recently published a call for experts to serve on the newly formed Guideline Development Groups tasked with revising and updating the withdrawn guidelines.
To update the document “Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances: Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines,” WHO welcomes expressions of interest from policymakers, health care professionals, academics, civil society representatives, program administration and management professionals, and health care regulators with expertise in the following areas:
To update of the document “WHO Guidelines on the Pharmacological Treatment of Persisting Pain in Children with Medical Illnesses,” WHO welcomes expressions of interest from relevant technical experts in the fields of:
To learn more about the process or to apply, the WHO has established this document.
We encourage our members and readers with expertise on any of these fields to apply. It is critically important to have a strong representation from those in the field of pain and palliative care to ensure evidence-based and balanced content.
On September 10-13, IAHPC will participate in the Oceanic Palliative Care Conference hosted by Palliative Care Australia in several ways. We will lead a workshop on international collaboration, and have a booth in the exhibit area where we hope to meet our members in the Pacific Region. Also, several of us — including Ebtesam Ahmed, IAHPC board member; Tania Pastrana, IAHPC research adviser; Liliana; and IAHPC staff members Genevieve Napier and Julia Libreros — will be traveling to Perth to represent the organization. We also will be working closely with Dr. Odette Spruyt, a longtime IAHPC member who has contributed greatly to the development of palliative care in the Pacific region, in India and other countries.
We are very grateful to the leadership of Palliative Care Australia for giving us the opportunity to work together, and we hope that the conference will serve to advance the field in many of the areas and islands where it is still not available.
We are also glad to announce that the following IAHPC members were awarded traveling scholarships to attend the OPCC conference:
Congratulations on their awards and on the acceptance of their poster/oral presentations. We look forward to meeting them in person, and to their reports that will appear in the Grants in Action section of the newsletter after their return. We hope that their trips will help advance palliative care and have the impact they are aiming for.
Next month is IAHPC Members’ Recognition Month. IAHPC benefits every day by the hard work of our members who are devoted to the advancement of hospice and palliative care worldwide. Members exemplify a continuing commitment to patient care, improving education, and developing favorable policies consistent with our mission.
To celebrate our members, IAHPC will be giving prizes in two categories: 1) Recognizing member loyalty, and 2) Increasing our membership. Turn to Membership Matters for details. In addition, an announcement will be emailed to members in the next few weeks. It’s a rewarding time to be part of IAHPC!
Until next month,
Lukas Radbruch, MD
Liliana De Lima, MHA