Revision of WHO guideline on ensuring balance in national policies for safe use of controlled substances

In June 2019, WHO announced the revision of two pain management guidelines. A full web statement on this revision can be found here.

This page is dedicated to the revision of the document "Ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances: Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines (2011)." This guideline is being revised in accordance to the methods and procedures outlined in WHO Handbook for Guideline Development.

Further information and regular updates on the guideline can be found on this page.

WHO guideline on ensuring balanced national policies for access and safe use of controlled medicines (Policy guideline)

Scope: The proposed scope for this guideline has been developed and is available here.

Public hearing: A public hearing regarding the scope of the guideline took place on 19 February 2020. The written statements submitted on the guideline have been consolidated and can be found here.

GDG members: The list of Guideline Development Group members has been confirmed and is available here. The first GDG meeting scheduled for March 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is provisionally rescheduled for the month of June.

External review group: The composition of an external review group (ERG) for the revision of this guideline has been constituted.


The guideline is expected to be published in 2021.

Interim guidance: Whilst this document is being updated, countries in need of guidance on pain management can:

  • use the list of resources for advice concerning access to appropriate medicines for pain and palliative care, and/or
  • contact WHO to request technical support


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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