Lancet Commission Global Launch Symposium: April 5-6, 2018

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Global Launch of the Lancet Commission report: Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage
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Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas Miller School of Medicine Lancet International Association for hospice and palliative care

Global Launch Symposium of the
Lancet Commission Report:
Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—
an imperative of universal health coverage

Confirmed Symposium Speakers include:

  • Richard Horton: Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet, co-organizer
  • Sir George Alleyne: Director Emeritus, Pan American Health Organization
  • Rifat Atun: Professor of Global Health Systems, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • James Cleary: Director, Pain and Policy Studies Group, WHO Collaborating Center
  • Tim Evans: Senior Director of Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group
  • Julio Frenk: President, University of Miami and former Minister of Health of Mexico
  • Dean Jamison: Emeritus Professor of Global Health, University of Washington; Lead Author DCP
  • Ambassador David Johnson: International Narcotics Control Board Member
  • Liliana de Lima: Executive Director, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care; Symposium Co-organizer
  • Diederik Lohman: Director, Health and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch
  • Felicia Marie Knaul: Director, University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas; Symposium Organizer
Thursday, April 5th (Full-Day) & Friday, April 6th (AM), 2018
Workshops (by invitation only): Friday, April 6th (PM)
University of Miami, The Braman Miller Center
1100 Stanford Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146


RSVP by Tuesday, April 3 at 5:00pm ET
Event will be webcast
Student and civil society attendance is highly encouraged.


About The Symposium:

The Global Launch Symposium at the University of Miami, co-hosted with The Lancet and the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), marks the print release of the Report of the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief, titled “Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage.” The online release of the Report received wide media coverage among outlets like The New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, BBC, CNN en español, and Voices of America.

In his accompanying editorial, “A Milestone for Palliative Care and Pain Relief,” Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, issued a call to action for the global health community to remedy the appalling global inequities in access to palliative care and pain relief. The Symposium will serve as a response to this call and offer the opportunity to design projects and programs for national, regional, and global implementation of the key recommendations outlined in the Report. The event will focus on projecting the research contained in the Report, and defining an implementation agenda, led by IAHPC, to assist countries and global health institutions in moving forward efforts to improve access to palliative care and pain relief.

The Symposium features plenary panels of leading global health and palliative care experts from around the world and will take place on April 5th (full day) and April 6th (AM). Session topics include global and regional collective action, implementing an essential package of palliative care services, prioritizing vulnerable populations, and national planning and implementation, including a discussion of the situation in the United States contrasting the opioid epidemic with the global pain crisis. The Symposium will be followed by a half-day of closed implementation workshops on the afternoon of April 6th specifically designed to convene national and regional representatives of palliative care organizations, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries and especially Latin America and the Caribbean. The workshop, led by IAHPC, will provide a planning platform for countries across the region to share knowledge and lessons for scale-up and integration of palliative care into universal health coverage efforts. Workshops are by invitation only as space is limited.

The Report, published online in October of 2017 by the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief and its Study Group, conceptualizes and measures the global burden of serious health-related suffering for life-limiting or life threatening conditions, demonstrates the tremendous global inequity in access to pain relief, develops and defines an essential package of palliative care and pain relief health services, and includes a blueprint for national and global health systems for implementing recommendations to ensure universal access to the essential package. These recommendations encompass, and are supported by, a bold and innovative research and implementation
agenda. Each of these topics will be discussed at the Symposium.

The Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief began work in late 2014 and is chaired by Dr. Felicia M. Knaul of the University of Miami and co-chaired by Dr. Paul E. Farmer of Harvard Medical School. The Commission brought together 35 global experts in public health, palliative care specialty medicine, nursing, law, economics, epidemiology, public policy, anthropology, and human rights. The report was co-authored by 61 collaborators representing 25 countries.

Background resources including factsheets, data appendix, and a recorded presentation on the key findings and recommendations of the report are available at

Over 60 confirmed government and civil society advocacy leader participants representing:

Global and regional palliative care institutions:

International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, World Hospice Palliative Care Association, and the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, African Palliative Care Association, Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network, Asociación Latinoamericana de Cuidados Paliativos, Caribbean Palliative Care Association, European Association for Palliative Care, and others

Countries, by region:

Africa: Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda
Asia: India, Singapore
Europe: Germany, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Latin America and the Caribbean: Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay
Middle East: Lebanon
North America: Canada, United States of America