Tory ban on heroin for addicts in study breaches international ethics: CMAJ

Health Minister Rona Ambrose speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament...

Health Minister Rona Ambrose speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:40 PM ET

OTTAWA — The government breached international ethical standards when it made a policy change that will cut access to heroin for addicts who were receiving it as part of a clinical trial, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) says.

The Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME) provides participants with versions of heroin based on the theory that continued use in small amounts reduces addicts' illegal use of the drug and makes them more likely to stay in treatment programs.

SALOME involves 200 patients, and receives $7.4 million from the B.C. government.


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