In January 2015, the European Brain Council got involved in opposing a proposition willing to add Ketamine – a medicine mainly used for starting and maintaining anaesthesia – under international drug control, namely the UN Convention of Psychotropic Substances. Concerns especially emerged after the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the authority responsible to decide on this issue, started discussing this option. Such a proposal was very inappropriate for essential medicine as it would have led the substance to be used only under direct governmental supervision. However, thanks to the efforts of many, the proposal was eventually withdrawn and the CND postponed its decision, officially to “to allow more information to be gathered”, as many CND Member countries declared they would oppose the scheduling.
Winning this battle has also allowed to raise attention on the relation between drug control and medicine availability on the international level, and it could now foster discussions regarding this issue. The European Brain Council is therefore pleased to have contributed to this success, and hope to achieve similar outcomes in its next advocacy actions.