Ontario trying to Ban a Generic Drug that will Benefit Big Pharma as well as the People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 24th, 2012

Week in Review

What is Ontario doing now?  Ontario, like the rest of Canada, puts people before profits.  At least that’s the reason they give for their single-payer health care system.  But now Ontario is doing something that may actually put profits before people (see Ontario urges other provinces, territories to push for generic oxycodone ban by MARIA BABBAGE posted 11/23/2012 on The Globe and Mail).

Ontario is rallying other provinces and territories to put pressure on Ottawa to reconsider its decision not to ban generic forms of OxyContin, a highly addictive and much-abused painkiller.

What?  Trying to ban a cheaper generic drug?  What, are they in bed with Big Pharma?  Choosing profits over people?  And this from a nation that has a single-payer health care system because they do put people before profits?  This makes no sense at all.  Helping to keep cheaper generic drugs off of the market.  What gives, Ontario?

Provincial Health Minister Deb Matthews said she plans to bring in regulations that would limit access to the drug in Ontario unless it’s tamper-resistant.

Under the proposed regulations, long-acting oxycodone products won’t be considered for public funding or be substituted for the brand-name drug by pharmacists unless they meet certain criteria…

OxyContin was meant to manage pain with a formula that released one dose of oxycodone over many hours. However, abusers could circumvent the timed-release feature by crushing the pills…

Since Ms. Aglukkaq’s announcement, doctors, pharmacists, first-nation leaders and police chiefs have expressed deep concerns about the decision, Ms. Matthews wrote in the letter, a copy of which was also sent to Ms. Aglukkaq.

“I am seeking your support in asking that Health Canada reconsider their decision, as this remains the single most effective way to prevent the devastating impact that this drug can have on our respective jurisdictions,” she wrote.

Ontario has the highest rate of prescription narcotic abuse in the country — two to four times higher than any other province, according to Ms. Matthews.

It has devastated many first nations communities, including one small northern reserve where 85 per cent of residents are addicted to opioids.

Oh, it’s not about profits.  It’s about the horrible costs of addiction.  Both monetary.  And societal.  Which makes a strong argument against the decriminalization of drugs.  Even marijuana.  Because people abuse narcotics.  And will abuse them more if they are not illegal.  As prescription narcotic abuse proves.  Especially opioids.  This is why the Chinese fought the British in the Opium Wars.  To keep opium out of China.  As it was destroying a generation of Chinese.  As it is destroying a generation of first nation communities in Canada.

The War on Drugs has been one of the most costly wars in American history.  And we are no closer to winning than when we started.  Some would even say we are worse off because of it.  But when you look at the alternative the cost may even be higher.  Higher addiction rates.  More futures destroyed before kids even get a chance to start their lives.  And more families destroyed.

When it comes to drugs you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  There is no easy answer.  And there may be no answer.  But those who have to deal with the consequences of addiction will surely applaud Ontario for standing strong against addiction.  As they are putting people first.  Even though it may help someone’s profits.

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