The provincial government is moving to limit access to low-cost generic OxyContin.
According to Health Minister Deb Matthews proposed new regulations will protect Ontarians by making it more difficult for the cheaper drug to be abused.
“Prescription narcotic abuse has destroyed the lives of too many Ontarians,” she said in a news release. “These regulations will save lives and prevent addiction. While these steps help limit access, a ban on generic Oxycontin remains the single most effective way to prevent the devastating impact that this drug can have on families.”
The regulations would limit access to generic OxyContin unless it is tamper-resistant.
“The province believes that the cost to society of the reintroduction of the more easily abused version of OxyContin far outweighs the financial benefits of the reduced generic price.”
Patients who legitimately need prescription drugs to manage pain will continue to have access to a wide variety of pain medications, including the more tamper-resistant OxyNeo, according to the release.
Other measures the province has taken include:
• Investing $15 million to increase access to opioid addiction services and treatment across the province.
• Implementing the Narcotics Monitoring System to track all prescription narcotics and other controlled substance medications dispensed in the province
• Removing easily abused OxyContin from the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary and placing tamper-resistant OxyNeo in the Exceptional Access Program
• Educating prescribers and partnering with the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health to create treatment guidelines for front line workers, doctors and nurses.