Facts about access to pain relief
- Worldwide, at least 2.7 million people died of HIV or cancer in untreated pain in 2011
- The World Health Organization considers morphine an essential medicine (1) and notes that there is no suitable alternative to strong opioids for the treatment of moderate to severe pain (2)
- There are 77 countries, home to 42% of the world’s population, where consumption of opioid analgesics is insufficient to cover even 1 in 4 painful deaths from HIV or cancer (3)
- The cost of morphine is low-in Uganda it is just 46 US cents per day.
Download our fact sheet: Fact sheet.pdf
We have created an interactive map with data on the need and demand for pain relief around the world.
Look at the map here
Download 2-page fact sheets with data for a particular country: Country reports
Many essential pain medicines are narcotics regulated by the International Narcotics Control Board. Learn about their regulation here.
- WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines [Internet]. WHO. 2011 [cited 2012 Jan 4].
- World Health Organization. Cancer Pain Relief with a Guide to Opioid Availability. Geneva: WHO; 1996.
- United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. Narcotic Drugs: Estimated World Requirements for 2013-Statistics for 2011 [E/INCB/2012/1] [Internet]. 2013.