Economic Sanctions Must Exempt Medicines, Says World Medical Association

Governments employing economic sanctions against other States have been urged by the World Medical Association to respect the agreed exemptions for medicines, medical supplies and basic food items.

At its annual General Assembly in Hamburg, Germany, today the WMA approved a resolution urging its 70 national medical association members to take the matter up with their governments.

Dr James Appleyard, chairman of the WMA medical ethics committee, said there was evidence that when sanctions were applied, however justified, medicines and medical supplies were not getting through and local populations, particularly children, were suffering. There was evidence that children suffering from cancer were unable to get drugs.