- Worldwide, at least 2.3 million people died of HIV or cancer in untreated pain in 2013.
- The World Health Organization considers morphine an essential medicine (1) and notes that there is no suitable alternative to strong opioids for the treatment of moderate to severe pain (2).
- There are 77 countries, home to 43% of the world’s population, where consumption of opioid analgesics is insufficient to cover even 1 in 4 painful deaths from HIV or cancer (3).
- The cost of morphine is low-in Uganda it is just 44 US cents per day.
Download our fact sheet: Fact sheet.pdf
We have created an interactive map with data on the need and demand for pain relief around the world.
Look at the map here
Download 2-page fact sheets with data for a particular country: Country reports
Want to know how we come up with our estimates? Our methodology
Many essential pain medicines are narcotics regulated by the International Narcotics Control Board. Learn about their regulation here.
- WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines [Internet]. WHO. 2015 [cited 2016 April 29].
- World Health Organization. Cancer Pain Relief with a Guide to Opioid Availability. Geneva: WHO; 1996.
- United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. Narcotic Drugs: Estimated World Requirements for 2015; Statistics for 2013 [E/INCB/2014/1] [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2016 April 29].