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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Canada Allows More Oxycodone

It doesn’t take long for one to become dependent on pain medication with the amount of highly potent prescription opiates available. Acquiring a drug like OxyContin (oxycodone),even without a prescription, is not that difficult; a number of people will sell their unused medication for a pretty penny. Oxycodone is one of the most abused prescription narcotics and there is about to be a lot more of the drug available.

Six generic drug companies have just been given the approval by the Canadian government to manufacture oxycodone products. Apparently the Canadian health minister had been under pressure to forbid the generic version of OxyContin due to concerns about widespread abuse of the painkiller, but went ahead and approved more production of the drug, CBC reports.

Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq defended her move by saying that the drug is safe and effective when used as prescribed; announcing that drug manufacturers and pharmacists will be required to report spikes in sales, or changes in distribution patterns. Furthermore, the government will also require drug companies that manufacture oxycodone products to provide better education for healthcare professionals and the public regarding the dangers associated with the drug.

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock sent a letter to Aglukkaq asking the government to reconsider its decision, saying this will make oxycodone easier to abuse, the Associated Press reports. Pointing out that features that OxyContin’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, had included to make the drug harder to abuse will not be included in generic versions.

“Studies have shown that the tamper-resistant changes OxyContin manufacturers have made to the drug have resulted in less abuse among addicts,” Bullock wrote. “I have concerns that allowing easier-to-abuse oxycodone in Canada could undo some of the work that both Canadian and U.S. government and community leaders have accomplished in combating this epidemic.”
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