Study: Few painkillers, pain specialists in poor countries

A new survey of specialists in Africa, Asia and Latin America suggests that many patients in poorer countries don't have adequate access to painkiller drugs or specialists trained in their use. The study, prepared by a British hospice charity, found widespread shortages of key painkillers. For example, in Africa, 20 percent of palliative care specialists had no access to morphine or other strong opioids, while 40 percent had irregular shortages of morphine and equivalents. Meanwhile, 35 percent of respondents in Latin America and 25 percent in Asia reported such shortages. Respondents said fear of drug addiction and restrictive drug laws contributed to the problem.

To find out more about the survey:
- read this piece from The New York Times