WMA warns against making essential anaesthetic a controlled drug

Scheduling ketamine would restrict its availability worldwide, which would lead to harmful impact on animal health and welfare, as well on public health
WMA press release
Friday, March 6, 2015

The World Medical Association is urging its 111 member associations to lobby their governments to oppose scheduling the anaesthetic agent Ketamine as a controlled drug. The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs is due to vote next Friday (March 13) on whether to schedule Ketamine because of concern about its use as an illicit recreational drug in many countries. But the WMA warns that if it is made a controlled drug, it would effectively prevent the drug’s use in many poor countries where it is the only alternative for short term pain relief in surgery.