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[e-drug] Ketamine control plan condemned as potential disaster for world's rural poor

E-DRUG: Ketamine control plan condemned as potential disaster for world's rural 
poor
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Sarah Boseley
Health Editor
 World news | The Guardian

A proposal that is about to come before the UN to restrict global access to 
ketamine, a drug abused in rich countries, would deprive millions of women of 
lifesaving surgery in poor countries, according to medicines campaigners.

Ketamine, known to clubbers by a variety of names including ket, Vitamin K and 
Special K, is one of the most commonly used anaesthetics in the developing 
world. As it is injectable, it can be used in rural areas where anaesthetic 
gases are unavailable.

Surgery in parts of the developing world, and particularly caesarean sections 
without which women with difficult labours may die, would be reduced and 
sometimes even unavailable. Campaigners say the health of at least two billion 
people would be affected.

This month, the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs will discuss a proposal by 
China to place ketamine in schedule 1, alongside psychedelic drugs such as LSD. 
If it is accepted, countries that want to buy the drug and use it would have to 
state how much they intended to import on an annual basis and would not be able 
to buy any more. It would only be administered for medical purposes by 
government employees. In practice, say doctors, it will become unavailable in 
the remote areas where it currently allows lifesaving surgery to take place.

Richard Laing, professor of international health at Boston University’s school 
of public health in the US, described what is happening as a “David and Goliath 
struggle between people interested in access to an essential medicine for women 
and victims of trauma in poor countries and the drug control establishment in 
rich countries”.
.................

Congratulations! Very interesting!
Read the complete article here
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/27/raver-drug-ketamine-control-plan-at-un-condemned-as-potential-disaster

Richard Laing
Professor
Boston University School of Public Health
Tel 617 435 7860 (m)
"Laing, Richard" <richardl@bu.edu>
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