Ontario to limit generic OxyContin

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 2:35 PM ET

TORONTO — Ontario is moving to limit access to generic OxyContin unless it's in a tamper-resistant form.

The province will not pay for OxyContin for Ontario Drug Benefit recipients if the drug is in a form that can easily be crushed or dissolved in liquid and injected, Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews said.

Under new rules announced Friday, a pharmacist could only legally substitute the generic form of the painkiller if the doctor or other prescriber provides authority to do so.

"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," a health ministry statement says.

"The proposed regulations will help limit access to easily abused generic OxyContin, protecting patients and those who may be addicted to prescription narcotics."

Ontarians will still get access to OxyNEO, a new version of OxyContin the maker says is less easily abused.

Matthews and other provincial health ministers were unsuccessful in their attempts to get federal health officials to ban the generic form of OxyContin unless tamper-resistant.

Matthews said Monday she was “profoundly disappointed” in the feds' “decision to ignore the threat to public safety posed by generic OxyContin and to allow it to enter the Canadian market.”

“National problems require a national solution. Provincial and territorial health ministers unanimously asked for federal help, but have once again been told that it’s a provincial problem,” she said.

Ontario has the highest per-capita use of prescription narcotics in the country, Matthews has said.


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