How Ugandan hospice makes cheap liquid morphine – BBC News #bristol #hospice

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How Ugandan hospice makes cheap liquid morphine

2 June 2014 Last updated at 17:49 BST

The lack of access to pain relief for dying patients around the world is a public health emergency, according to doctors specialising in caring for people who are terminally ill.

The BBC has seen figures suggesting almost 17 million people died in unnecessary pain in 2012, partly because governments refused to allow them access to powerful painkillers such as morphine.

The Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance says the restrictions on these drugs are in place because of exaggerated fears about patients becoming addicted.

Hospice Africa makes all of Uganda’s liquid morphine.

They started making it in the sink in a tiny kitchen in 1993, using recycled soft drink bottles to bottle it up and get it to people who needed it.

It is now a slightly more sophisticated process, but they keep the manufacturing costs very down by buying everything from the local market.

The morphine powder itself is bought from countries including the UK.

Senior pharmacy technician Rosemary Canfuar talked BBC News through the production process.

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