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Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief - an imperative of universal health coverage: the Lancet Commission report
13 Oct 2017
Lancet commissioned papers, 2017
Lancet Commission on Palliative Care and Pain Relief Study Group
Executive summary: The lack of global access to pain relief and palliative care throughout the life cycle constitutes a global crisis, and action to close this divide between rich and poor is a moral, health, and ethical imperative. The need for palliative care and pain relief has been largely ignored. Yet, palliative care and pain relief are essential elements of universal health coverage (UHC). This Lancet Commission aims to (1) quantify the heavy burden of serious health-related suffering associated with a need for palliative care and pain relief; (2) identify and cost an essential package of palliative care and pain relief health services that would alleviate this burden; (3) measure the unmet need of an indispensable component of the package—off patent, oral, and injectable morphine; and (4) outline national and global health-systems strategies to expand access to palliative care and pain relief as an integral component of UHC while minimising the risk of diversion and non-medical use.