Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative (GAPRI)


The Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative (GAPRI) is a programme of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to address target 8 of the World Cancer Declaration to make essential pain medicines universally available by 2020.

GAPRI’s projects are designed to address the following objectives:

  • Empowering governments to take the lead in expanding access to pain relief and palliative care

  • Mainstreaming the issue of pain treatment and palliative care  in the global health and drug regulation agenda

  • Calling for integration pain management and palliative care into national cancer control plans and supporting strengthening of the health system response


Working in partnership

Treat the Pain, is an international programme led by the American Cancer society (ACS), which provides direct technical assistance for improving markets and access to essential pain medicines in low- and middle-income countries

A contributing partner to GAPRI, the programme is currently implementing projects in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, India, and Haiti.

Read the GAPRI Programme Update.


Why the GAPRI Initiative is important

More than 2.9* million people die each year in moderate or severe pain without access to adequate pain treatment – even though the World Health Organization (WHO) considers morphine an essential medicine for the treatment of pain. Morphine is safe, effective, inexpensive, and easy to administer in resource-constrained settings. However, a web of barriers prevents millions of individuals from accessing pain relief and forces them to live and die with treatable pain. These barriers include legal and regulatory restrictions, weak health systems, inadequate training of healthcare workers, and misconceptions about pain and its treatment.

*This figure comes from 2010 data.