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Ukraine must loosen drugs policy to allow patients access to oral morphine, says report

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2959 (Published 12 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2959
  1. Andrew Osborn
  1. 1Moscow

Tens of thousands of people with cancer in Ukraine are being condemned to live their final months in excruciating pain because oral morphine is not available, a report has concluded.

The report, from New York based Human Rights Watch, estimates that up to 80 000 cancer patients in Ukraine had severe pain every year as a result of the country’s controversial public health policy.

“There is no reason people have to live out their last months in torment,” said Diederik Lohman, a senior health researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Ukraine needs to fix its …

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