Letter to the World Health Organization re: rescheduling of buprenorphine

“We have recently learned that the thirty-fourth Expert Committee On Drug Dependence (ECDD), which will meet in Geneva on 28–31 March, has included on its agenda a “final decision” on the rescheduling of buprenorphine, a medication used for pain relief and for the treatment of opiate dependence. We understand that under consideration is whether to place buprenorphine under the stricter 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

“We believe that the rescheduling of buprenorphine will have serious public health and human rights implications and that WHO has not allowed sufficient time for full consultation and for scientific scrutiny of this proposal.

“We urge that consideration of buprenorphine be postponed for a later meeting of the ECDD . . . .”

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