Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
Nova Scotia has become the latest province to clamp down on OxyContin prescriptions, with Health Minister Maureen MacDonald announcing the province will only pay for the potent painkiller’s replacement in extenuating circumstances – for cancer-related pain or palliative care.
Nova Scotia’s move comes days after Ontario, with the highest rates of prescription-opioid addiction in the country, announced it is tightening rules for the painkiller.
Physicians called the move a step forward, but warned that changing publicly funded drug plans won’t be nearly enough to stem abuse from the prescription drug.
“There is a lot more that needs to be done,” said David Juurlink, a drug-safety specialist at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. “These drugs should be harder to obtain, harder to prescribe – and certainly at high doses.”