Minister Ambrose to consult Canadians on regulating tamper-resistant properties for prescription drugs
Supports Government's commitment in the 2013 Speech from the Throne
OTTAWA, June 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the Government's consultation on a proposal to regulate tamper-resistant properties for prescription drugs that are at a high risk of abuse, including controlled-release oxycodone.
The announcement follows the Government's commitment in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to expand its National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS) to address prescription drug abuse.
Pursuing tamper-resistant properties in prescription drugs is one mechanism to help curb prescription drug abuse. Minister Ambrose also committed to consulting with provinces and territories to look at prescribing practices of drugs that have a high risk of abuse.
Minister Ambrose made the announcement while meeting with Ontario First Nations representatives in Ottawa to discuss the issue of prescription drug abuse. During the meeting, First Nations representatives had an opportunity to share successes in addressing prescription drug abuse, as well as discuss the need for further supports for First Nations communities and individuals.
A formal 60-day consultation period will begin when the Notice of Intent to Interested Parties is published in Canada Gazette, Part I later this month. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to submit their comments online or via regular mail.
The 2012 Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey results show
opioid pain relievers are among the most commonly abused prescription
drugs, and almost one in six (17%) of Canadians aged 15 years and older
reported the use of opioid pain relievers in the past 12 months.
Economic Action Plan 2014 expanded the focus of the National Anti-Drug
Strategy to address prescription drug abuse in Canada, by investing
$44.9 million over five years to support new actions for that purpose -
including enhancing prevention and treatment services in First Nations
The Government is investing more than $236 million annually to support
mental health and addictions programming in First Nations and Inuit
communities, including mental health promotion, addiction and suicide
prevention, mental health counselling, addictions treatment, cultural
supports, as well as crisis response services. The department supports
a network of 44 community-based addiction treatment centres, as well as
drug and alcohol abuse prevention services in the majority of First
Nations and Inuit communities.
- The Standing Committee on Health (HESA) recently completed a comprehensive study on prescription drug abuse which recommended the Government consider the merits of tamper-resistant drugs in addressing prescription drug abuse.
"Our Government is committed to working with First Nations to improve
the health and well-being of their communities. This is why I have
gathered today with Ontario First Nations Chiefs - to hear the
community perspective on prescription drug abuse in Ontario and to
collaborate on strengthening our current responses. By continuing to
work together, we can strengthen the ability of First Nations to tackle
prescription drug abuse and addiction."
Minister of Health
"The addition of tamper resistant properties to drugs at a high risk for
abuse could potentially help mitigate prescription abuse, while
ensuring that they remain available for patients who really need them.
The Government will continue to work in collaboration with all
Canadians to advance our common goal of tackling prescription drug
Minister of Health
"The Assembly of First Nations considers engagement with all levels of
government on the subject of prescription drug abuse to be a top
priority. We are dealing with a complex and inter-related set of issues
and we believe First Nations themselves are best-placed to identify
culturally relevant solutions. We welcome continued engagement and
collaborative efforts to address prescription drug abuse and, overall,
to close the gap in health outcomes between First Nations and the
general Canadian population."
Regional Chief Stan Beardy
Ontario Chiefs Committee on Health
Fact Sheet - Tamper-Resistant Properties for Prescription Drugs at Risk
2013 Speech from the Throne
National Anti-Drug Strategy
Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey
Report of the Standing Committee on Health
Chiefs of Ontario
SOURCE Health Canada