Canadian Medical Association - New labels to curb obioid abuse


#1

Canada’s growing prescription drug abuse problem is “unacceptable,” Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose told delegates to the Canadian Medical Association’s annual meeting in Ottawa on Aug. 18.

She announced label changes to enhance the safety and appropriate use of controlled-release opioids, including oxycodone and fentanyl products. Ambrose said the new labels will “more clearly outline the risks and safety concerns associated with these medicines,” including a warning that the drugs should only be used to manage severe pain.

“We know that Canada is now the second largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids, exceeded only by the United States,” she said. Some 410 000 Canadians report abusing a wide range of prescription drugs, Ambrose added. These include “pain relievers such as Demerol and Oxycontin, stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall, and tranquilizers such as Valium, Ativan and Xanax.”

“These numbers are frightening,” she said. “We must work together to develop practical solutions that will prevent abuse while keeping medications available for patients who need them.”

http://www.cmaj.ca/site/earlyreleases/18aug14_new-labels-to-curb-opioid-abuse.xhtml

I was unaware of Bill C-17 - Vanessa’s Law until now.
http://www.gowlings.com/KnowledgeCentre/article.asp?pubID=3281

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=6375723


#2

Hmm.

Just wondering how effective adding warning labels will actually be though. I know that when I was in my teens and hanging around the drug crowd those were what we looked for on pill bottles. Warnings such as: Alcohol May Intensify Effect or May Impair Ability to Operate Heavy Machinery might as well have read For a Good Time Take This to us.


#3

Yes I see your point :wink:

Still better labels to make parents/patients aware so that maybe they won’t leave prescription out for others to abuse…

I think the bigger picture is to increase the responsibility of those prescribing and dispensing. I would have to reread it though.