(2003; 31 pages) [French] [Spanish]
The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence met in Geneva from 17 to 20 September 2002. The meeting was opened by Dr L. Rägo, Coordinator, Quality Assurance and Safety: Medicines, who emphasized the significant role this Committee has played in the implementation of the international drug control system based on the existing drug control conventions. As a specialized agency of the United Nations system, WHO is responsible for conducting the medical and scientific evaluation of dependence-producing drugs and makes recommendations to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations concerning the level of international control to be applied to them. As WHO has the sole responsibility for this function, no drug can be controlled internationally without first being evaluated by WHO. The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has been entrusted with the task of evaluating such drugs since WHO was founded in 1948. Dr Rägo stressed the importance of balancing the need for preventing diversion of therapeutic substances with abuse potential by means of appropriate controls against the need for ensuring access to these drugs for therapeutic use.