Developed by UNODC, WHO* and INCB

Access and Diversion Prevention

This module of the Toolkit has been developed in close collaboration with INCB and WHO and demonstrates interagency cooperation that is key to addressing the complex challenges posed by synthetic drugs.

Especially in times of a dual public health crisis, it is essential to ensure access to health care and essential medicines, while preventing their diversion. To address this issue, in August 2020 INCB, WHO and UNODC published a joint statement on access to internationally controlled medicines during COVID-19 pandemic.


Access to pain relief must be balanced with harm caused by the misuse of prescription pain medications, including opioids. This module of the Toolkit provides recommendations that address this issue and provides information on:

  • Effective pain management using the ‘pain ladder.’
  • WHO’s work in all areas of the pharmaceutical value chain.
  • The international control of medicines.
  • Measuring and monitoring access including availability and affordability.
  • Rational prescribing and use.

* For the components of this module developed by staff members of the World Health Organization, the authors alone are responsible for the views expressed, and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the World Health Organization.