As more drugs crack down on oxycodone abuse, addiction experts fear public insurance limits don’t go far enough

Photo by Michelle Siu for the Globe and Mail

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.”

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Manitoba probes immigrant investor program

Monday, December 26, 2011 – Globe and Mail

ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

Manitoba’s auditor-general is reviewing an initiative designed to bring immigrant investors to the province in light of scandals plaguing similar programs in the Maritimes.

There has been no suggestion of wrongdoing in Manitoba; but scathing audits, fraud allegations, lawsuits and RCMP investigations in the Atlantic provinces have raised concerns thousands of kilometres away.

“It was an area we thought there was a high risk that there could be problems,” said Manitoba Auditor-General Carol Bellringer in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “We wanted to find out how that whole investment part worked, and if there was any potential for [immigrants] to be taken advantage of.”

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