Target: President of India Pranab Mukherjee
Goal: Improve pain treatment availability for patients in India who suffer from cancer and other painful diseases
Because of restrictive drug regulations, millions of Indians are not getting access to inexpensive and effective medication to treat their chronic and excruciating pain. With India’s parliament about to convene, it is imperative that changes be made in the law so patients can receive proper treatment and have a better quality of life. There have already been two proposals to change the law, but none have passed.
The proposed amendments to the current Drug Act in India would give the government authority to regulate “narcotic drugs” and require a single license to obtain morphine and other strong opioid medications. This would remove the complications and restrictions currently in place, which make morphine so difficult to obtain that many hospitals in India refuse to keep it in stock. Hospitals are now required to have four or five licenses, which must all be valid at the same time for them to carry morphine. In 2008, it was estimated there was sufficient morphine to treat only 4 percent of India’s cancer patients.
A recent study found that 99 percent of cancer patients suffered from pain when they arrived at the hospital, with 60 percent in moderate to severe pain. Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of these patients do not receive adequate treatment. Both the World Health Organization and the Indian government consider morphine to be essential for the treatment of chronic pain, and patients deserve to have proper treatment without the government obstructing it. It is crucial that the Drug Act be amended and changed to suit patients’ needs.
Dear President Pranab Mukherjee ,
It has come to my attention that millions of Indians are suffering from chronic pain related to cancer and other illnesses. Most of their suffering could be ended if these patients received strong medications like morphine, but they are not given this because Indian hospitals have very little in stock. It is because of your country’s strict restrictions on pain medication that these patients continue to suffer. It is extremely difficult for hospitals to have four or five valid licenses to obtain morphine, when one license should suffice.
Your current medical system is failing those who are suffering from cancer and other illnesses. Ninety percent of patients who check into hospitals experiencing pain do not receive treatment. With parliament convening soon to discuss a recent proposal to amend the Drug Act, I implore you to lend your support to this change in the law. Your people shouldn’t be suffering needlessly, when treatment is so readily available.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Vaprotan via Wikimedia