Parliament passes bill to ease medical use of narcotics

New Delhi, Feb 21: Parliament Friday passed the a bill which simplifies the regulations for procuring and possessing narcotic drugs like morphine for medicinal purposes, with the Rajya Sabha Friday giving its assent Friday.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was passed by Lok Sabha Thursday and passed by the upper house shortly before it was adjourned sine die.

The law will bring relief to thousands of cancer patients in the country who use another psychoactive chemical opioid for acute and chronic pain relief.

Use of morphine was under strict regulation under the NDPS Act, 1985, and lengthy bureaucratic procedures discouraged its manufacturing in the country and limited its availability at medical institutions that care for cancer patients.

The amendments will prescribe the forms and conditions of licence or permits for the manufacture, possession, transport, inter-state import and export, sale, purchase, consumption or use of essential narcotic drugs and charge a fee for that.

The Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) had been pushing for the passage of the amendment in parliament.

IANS