New Delhi: A fight has been going on for two decades to help patients dealing with excruciating pain as they have been denied access to a simple, pain relief, cost-effective drug morphine because of a stringent Act. The proposed amendments to the 1985 Narcostics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, pending in Parliament, will make a world of difference.
Doctors tell CNN-IBN that morphine is being denied to many patients in India, including those with end-stage cancer, HIV.
Dr MR Rajagopal, Director of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, says patients are undergoing unbelievable suffering as they have been denied access to the drug.
DR GP Dureja, Delhi Pain Management Centre, says they have been fighting for these amendments and the problem is with the availability of morphine.
Meanwhile, Dr Dureja says sales of morphine are also restricted with only six centres in Delhi authorised to sell it. He also dismisses the government's concern about misuse of morphine.
Delhi and Mumbai still have stocks of the drug but smaller cities have no such supply of what the Health Ministry has called an essential drug. A drug that the World Health Organisation and Human Rights Watch also endorse for effective and save pain management.
Doctors have also dismissed the possible threat of addiction.
Many people are figting for amendments to the Act to remove the barrier that hit availability of morphine, but with Parliament being dysfunctional this is hanging on fire and millions are suffering unnecesary avoidable pain.