Canada Changing Laws to Tackle Painkiller Addiction
A couple of years ago the patent for OxyContin’s original formula expired. That’s not for the extended release version with the abuse-resistant formulation, but the original formula – which caused the huge epidemic in prescription painkiller addiction and abuse. The FDA refused to approve any drugs that were generic versions of the original OxyContin, but Canada gave the drugs approval. Now Canada’s prescription painkiller addiction problem is so bad that they’re going to reverse the approval.
How does this work?
When a patent runs out, the company that holds the patent can still sell the drug – although, in the case of OxyContin, that version of the drug has been supplanted by the abuse-resistant version – but other companies can apply to be able to sell their own versions of the drug – which are virtually identical to the original.
What’s the point? They can basically grab a share of the market—which made $ billions for Purdue, the original developer and manufacturer—and make a bunch of money too.
There’s no purpose other than money. Their generic versions of the drug are no better, and no worse. They just want the money. That’s it.
Canada gave other companies the go ahead, and now the country is facing the horrible effects of prescription painkiller addiction.
So the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, is going to introduce legislation that reverses that decision so generic versions of OxyContin will no longer be allowed.
The strange thing about this is how it happened. When Health Canada was given the job of deciding whether or not to approve the generic drugs, they were told to base their decision only on whether or not the drug was effective. They were not supposed to take anything else – like the possibility of soaring addiction, overdoses, deaths, and so on – into account.
Surprising, considering that the original OxyContin created a HUGE problem in the U.S. Now it’s a problem for Canada too. Lesson learned.
Too bad so many people’s lives had to be ruined for the powers that be to realize that it was the wrong decision.
The minister of health is going for ensuring ALL painkillers are abuse-resistant.
What lesson should we learn from this? Prescription painkillers are dangerous. Get them out of your house if you’re no longer using them – through one of the programs where you can return unused prescription drugs. If you are using them, lock them up so no one else in the household (or visitors) can get them. And if you’ve been taking them for long, realize that you’re probably addicted, and call us to help you find a good drug addiction treatment program.