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.”

Continue reading

Database will allow Ontario to clamp down on over-prescribing doctors

Toby Talbot/The Associated Press

Friday, August 12, 2011 – Globe and Mail

ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

Starting in November, the Ontario government will have the ability to collect information on who’s prescribing how many pills to whom, and where those prescriptions are getting filled.

Regulations attached to the province’s planned prescription database, which has been in the works for months, passed cabinet Wednesday. That means that this fall in theory – and this winter in practice, because that’s when the database will be fully functional – the province can start tracking prescriptions and, eventually, clamp down on what Health Minister Deb Matthews calls an urgent problem with over-prescribed narcotics.

Continue reading