Provinces clamp down on OxyContin abuse


dumpthemonarchy
#1
“This should be treated as a public health emergency.” says Dr Chase. Another quote from the article.

" Claudette Chase, medical director for the Sioux Lookout First Nation’s health authority and a member of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s prescription drug abuse task force, estimates that about a third of the aboriginal population in her area of northwestern Ontario is addicted to prescription opioids. In some communities, it’s as high as 75 per cent. Of the thousands who need treatment, she said, less than 10 per cent are getting help. "

It used to work by just sweeping this sort of aboriginal problem under the rug by just paying and paying. Now something has to be done that is constructive. The medical bureacrats will take little responsibility of course, they were just following clueless policy dealing with poor, uneducated country people.

There aren't enough clinics to treat the addicts, of any substance, especially in rural areas, and the users, in this case many aboriginals, can't afford to buy their own. Big problems lie ahead here.



Provinces clamp down on OxyContin abuse - The Globe and Mail




Provinces clamp down on OxyContin abuse

anna mehler paperny

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 3:46PM EST

Last updated Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 6:30AM EST

377 comments

The epicentres of Canada’s prescription pill problem have said they’ll only pay for the leading brand of potent painkillers under special circumstances – one of the most dramatic steps taken in years to tackle the country’s fastest-growing addiction.

Purdue Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures OxyContin, is replacing it with a drug that’s supposed to be less prone to abuse. But some provinces have decided that’s not good enough.

Ontario confirmed Friday that, starting at the end of the month, OxyContin – and its replacement, OxyNEO – will no longer be covered under the province’s general benefits plan. Any doctor who wants to prescribe a provincially funded dose of the long-acting oxycodone will need to prove that other attempts to treat a patient’s pain have failed. While this and other precautions have been “guidelines” for years, now they are a requirement.

“The active ingredient in OxyNEO is the same ingredient as in OxyContin, so it still has the same risks. … That’s why we felt it was important to strengthen the funding requirements,” said Diane McArthur, Ontario’s assistant deputy minister and executive officer of Ontario Public Drug Programs. “Ontario has the highest level of OxyContin use in the country. And that was quite concerning to us.”

Other provinces are making similar moves. Prince Edward Island, which already had special criteria for OxyContin prescriptions, has no plans to pay for new OxyNEO prescriptions. Manitoba only pays for OxyContin in exceptional circumstances and, along with British Columbia, has yet to make a decision on whether to pay for the drug’s replacement. Saskatchewan will make a decision on paying for the new drug as early as next week.

The federal government, which funds aboriginals not covered by provincial programs, has said it will only cover OxyNEO under extenuating circumstances.

Purdue acknowledges that addiction to its prescription painkiller is a growing health problem. The pharmaceutical giant developed OxyNEO “in an effort to make the tablets more difficult to be manipulated for the purpose of misuse and abuse,” said vice-president of corporate affairs Randy Steffan. OxyNEO also uses oxycodone, but is more difficult to crush, snort and inject.

But addiction experts argue that isn’t enough. And the provinces’ reluctance to fund one of the most popular painkillers out there indicates just how seriously they’re taking this problem.

Mr. Steffan wouldn’t comment on that reluctance. “Questions about reimbursement for OxyNEO,” he said, “should be directed to provincial health authorities.”

The move comes years after health-care practitioners first began sounding the alarm on the growing number of Canadians addicted to – and dying from – prescription pills.

“I think it’s a major step in the right direction, from a public health perspective,” said Irfan Dhalla, a doctor at St. Michael’s in Toronto.

But even as provinces move to narrow the supply of opioids, treatment options for addicts remain inadequate – especially where the need is greatest: in smaller, more remote communities with huge addiction rates and few or no treatment services.

“It’s no panacea,” says Clement Sun, who runs a methadone clinic in Toronto. “In southern Ontario, and in larger centres, [treatment availability is] pretty good. But rural areas and in Northern Ontario, they’re desperate.”

In Northern Ontario, the prospect of OxyContin’s phase-out prompted a call for help from health-care practitioners and community leaders with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. There are so many addicts, and so few treatment facilities, that a disrupted supply could be a body blow to tiny communities.

Claudette Chase, medical director for the Sioux Lookout First Nation’s health authority and a member of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s prescription drug abuse task force, estimates that about a third of the aboriginal population in her area of northwestern Ontario is addicted to prescription opioids. In some communities, it’s as high as 75 per cent. Of the thousands who need treatment, she said, less than 10 per cent are getting help.

Part of the problem is the paperwork needed to access Suboxone, an easy-to-use alternative to methadone, the most common treatment for opioid addiction. Ontario’s Ms. McArthur said the province will meet shortly with the drug’s manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser, about “new information” on the drug; lowering the barriers to prescribing Suboxone is a possibility.

In the meantime, Dr. Chase worries about a drought of OxyContin in communities with high addiction levels. The impacts could range from mass, racking withdrawals to more deaths thanks to an all-too-versatile illicit drug market, she said.
“This should be treated as a public health emergency.”
Ontario's methadone caseload in December, 2010: 29,332 patients, 296 physicians, 105 offices

Ontario's methadone caseload in December, 2011: 35,228 patients, 340 physicians, 120 offices

9,000
Estimated number of aboriginals in northwestern Ontario addicted to OxyContin

5
Estimated percentage of those receiving treatment

33
Estimated percentage of Northwestern Ontario's First Nations population addicted to OxyContin

75
Estimated percentage of OxyContin-addicted residents in some of Northwestern Ontario's hardest-hit communities.

1,229
Aboriginal Canadians receiving OxyContin under Ottawa's health program.

5,025
Aboriginal Canadians on methadone treatment under Ottawa's health program

61
Aboriginal Canadians on Suboxone treatment under Ottawa's health program.

$90-million

Amount Health Canada spends on addiction services for First Nations and Inuit.
Sources: Health Canada, Ontario Health Ministry, Nishnawbe Aski Nation
 
Ron in Regina
#2
Ontario is delisting the prescription painkiller OxyContin — and the drug that
will soon replace it — from the province’s drug benefit program.

The change, revealed Friday, is an attempt to curb an addiction epidemic in
the province by making it harder for physicians to prescribe — and patients
to get — the highly addictive drug.

In recent years, OxyContin prescriptions have skyrocketed in Ontario. The
drug, sometimes called “hillbilly heroin,” is sold on the street for its heroin-like
high and causes hundreds of overdose deaths each year.....

(LINK to the news story: Canada News: Ontario delisting OxyContin and its substitute from drug benefit program - thestar.com )

......People who are addicted to OxyContin and who will not be able to get
enough pills to satisfy their addiction will experience painful withdrawal,
including nausea and terrible stomach cramps. But, Furlan said, unlike
withdrawal from alcohol addiction, suddenly going off opioids is not
life-threatening.

“What is life threatening with opioids is overdose.”


This could be an interesting development. Be interesting to look back at
this Thread in a few months to see if there's any noticeable changes at all,
be it more or less crime, addicts, overdoses, etc...

Oh yeah....

OxyContin is a slow-release narcotic painkiller that is widely prescribed for
victims of moderate to severe chronic pain resulting from such problems
as arthritis, back trouble and cancer. One pill is designed to last 12 hours,
but abusers usually crush the medicine and then snort or inject it, producing
a quick, heroin-like high.
 
dumpthemonarchy
+1
#3
Funny, two of the same stories at once.
 
Ron in Regina
#4
Two members (one of them myself) posted Threads about this within 2 minutes,
so I merged them.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#5
good idea

I don't know how to merge threads
 
lone wolf
+2
#6  Top Rated Post
I can only imagine the whining from people who sell their meds to buy the weed and beer....
 
SLM
#7
Makes me wonder what kind of physicians are still over-prescribing this drug? Doctor's that live under a rock and don't realize most of it ends up hitting the street?
 
lone wolf
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Makes me wonder what kind of physicians are still over-prescribing this drug? Doctor's that live under a rock and don't realize most of it ends up hitting the street?

I can think of a few whose offices are in drug stores
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#9
My wife uses this off and on for chronic pain from a car accident in 2007. The doctor considered the risk of addiction as did my wife but they decided that there was no other viable pain killer that would work. It is covered not by the province but a private insurance plan right now. Should the private insurance plan not cover this, my wife would be forced to endure pain again as we cannot afford it outright. While certainly it is abused, cutting off the supply will hurt legitimate users. Also I think most of the addicts are buying off black market are they not?
 
lone wolf
+1
#10
The black market starts somewhere
 
SLM
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

My wife uses this off and on for chronic pain from a car accident in 2007. The doctor considered the risk of addiction as did my wife but they decided that there was no other viable pain killer that would work. It is covered not by the province but a private insurance plan right now. Should the private insurance plan not cover this, my wife would be forced to endure pain again as we cannot afford it outright. While certainly it is abused, cutting off the supply will hurt legitimate users. Also I think most of the addicts are buying off black market are they not?

Would she not be eligible for the Exceptional Access Program?
 
dumpthemonarchy
#12
Thousands of aboriginals are hooked on this drug in Ontario, and now they won't get it. Maybe this is why the fed Tories want to build more prisons. A little joke there.
 
shadowshiv
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by dumpthemonarchyView Post

good idea

I don't know how to merge threads

That's because you don't have the ability. Only Mods and Andem can do it.
 
bill barilko
#14
Quote:

the users, in this case many aboriginals, can't afford to buy their own. Big problems lie ahead here

Not really-the addicts will turn to booze to ease the pain-junkies always do.

If others turn to other more dangerous substances well that option was always there wasn't it-a few dead junkies doesn't really matter.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilkoView Post

Not really-the addicts will turn to booze to ease the pain-junkies always do.

If others turn to other more dangerous substances well that option was always there wasn't it-a few dead junkies doesn't really matter.

In Vancouver junkies tend to break into a lot cars to pay for thier habits, but BC isn't delisting the drug for a new wave. Dead junkies might be cheaper than building new prisons.

Now I know how threads get merged, and why I couldn't do it.
 
SLM
+1
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilkoView Post

If others turn to other more dangerous substances well that option was always there wasn't it-a few dead junkies doesn't really matter.

Wow, your humanity knows absolutely no boundaries, doesn't it?
 
Nuggler
#17
""Ontario confirmed Friday that, starting at the end of the month, OxyContin – and its replacement, OxyNEO – will no longer be covered under the province’s general benefits plan. Any doctor who wants to prescribe a provincially funded dose of the long-acting oxycodone will need to prove that other attempts to treat a patient’s pain have failed. While this and other precautions have been “guidelines” for years, now they are a requirement.''

Good idea, but "clamping down on abuse" is only a sidebar. What they are doing is DELISTING another drug so the payers (us) don't have to pay for it.

Anyone with money who can stick handle their way through the medical requirements to receive the replacement drug will be ok.

Anyone who is seriously ill and poor will have a fight on their hands to provide pain relief for their loved ones.

The abuse will still be there, and if you live in a high use neighbourhood, when the mass withdrawl starts, better bar your doors. Ever see Night of the Living Dead?

Dalton McLiar is getting the ball rolling. Wonder which "consultant" will be making a mill or two from this fiasco.

Ain't politicians wonderful.
 
TenPenny
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

""Ontario confirmed Friday that, starting at the end of the month, OxyContin – and its replacement, OxyNEO – will no longer be covered under the province’s general benefits plan. Any doctor who wants to prescribe a provincially funded dose of the long-acting oxycodone will need to prove that other attempts to treat a patient’s pain have failed. While this and other precautions have been “guidelines” for years, now they are a requirement.''

Good idea, but "clamping down on abuse" is only a sidebar. What they are doing is DELISTING another drug so the payers (us) don't have to pay for it.

Anyone with money who can stick handle their way through the medical requirements to receive the replacement drug will be ok.

Anyone who is seriously ill and poor will have a fight on their hands to provide pain relief for their loved ones.

The abuse will still be there, and if you live in a high use neighbourhood, when the mass withdrawl starts, better bar your doors. Ever see Night of the Living Dead?

Dalton McLiar is getting the ball rolling. Wonder which "consultant" will be making a mill or two from this fiasco.

Ain't politicians wonderful.

Delisting also means that in order to do a prescription, hoops will have to be jumped through, and most doctors won't bother - it's a pain in the *** to prescrbe delisted items, each prescription requires special permissions.
 
petros
#19
You'd think morphine (far more abused than oxy) won't be available either by the way this thread sounds.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Would she not be eligible for the Exceptional Access Program?

I didn't realize this but she has been upgraded/downgraded to perkesets (1/2 oxy, 1/2 tylenol 3 I think) so not sure if this affects her at all.
 
SLM
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

I didn't realize this but she has been upgraded/downgraded to perkesets (1/2 oxy, 1/2 tylenol 3 I think) so not sure if this affects her at all.

That's good then. And the way I understand it, that would be considered a 'downgrade'.

I had to check my mom's medication list as well when I read the article. I had mistakenly thought she was prescribed Oxycontin for the pain associated with her MS, but turns out it's Oxycocet.
 
Ron in Regina
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

...Good idea, but "clamping down on abuse" is only a sidebar. What they are doing is DELISTING another drug so the payers (us) don't have to pay for it.

Anyone with money who can stick handle their way through the medical requirements to receive the replacement drug will be ok.

Anyone who is seriously ill and poor will have a fight on their hands to provide pain relief for their loved ones.

The abuse will still be there, and if you live in a high use neighbourhood, when the mass withdrawl starts, better bar your doors. Ever see Night of the Living Dead?.....


It sounds like the withdrawal from this drug is described as, "Imagine
the worst flu you've ever had and multiply that by 20" and one of
the symptoms is uncontrollable diarrhea, so......I'm not sure how many
will be wandering the streets....but anything is possible.

I can imaging an addict seeing this happen to other addicts, and going
through extraordinary measures to avoid having to go through this
themselves. Early in the withdrawal could be nasty, but further in,
I don't think many will be wandering the streets with their pants
around their ankles.

Other substitute substances (Morphine, Heroin, Booze, etc...) will get
much more popular very quickly, and I can picture an interprovincial
black-market expanding very quickly (for any entrepreneurs out there).

Delisting this drug will mean that Junkies will need to increase their income.
While going through their DT's, I doubt they'll be supersizing the fries behind
a fast-food counter or anything like that. That can be an issue too.

I'm assuming that Rehab Centres will be in short supply for the next few
months too, at least.
 
petros
+2
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

I don't think many will be wandering the streets with their pants around their ankles.

Considering withdrawl gives you the ****s, I wouldn't be so sure about that. LOL
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

That's good then. And the way I understand it, that would be considered a 'downgrade'.

I had to check my mom's medication list as well when I read the article. I had mistakenly thought she was prescribed Oxycontin for the pain associated with her MS, but turns out it's Oxycocet.

Is that different? I am wondering which of the derivatives will also be targeted [next]?

If people want this drug they will get it. Making it not available to people who need it will not make the problem go away. I don't know if its just her doctor but my wife has to pee in a cup each time she gets a refill to prove that she is still taking the meds and not selling. I think if this were the law this would be a better approach.
 
petros
#25
Afghani heroin will fill the bill nicely.
 
SLM
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

Is that different? I am wondering which of the derivatives will also be targeted [next]?

I did a quick google search last night when I first read the article and found the name of what my mother is prescribed.

OxyContin: Straight talk-CAMH

Quote:

If people want this drug they will get it. Making it not available to people who need it will not make the problem go away. I don't know if its just her doctor but my wife has to pee in a cup each time she gets a refill to prove that she is still taking the meds and not selling. I think if this were the law this would be a better approach.

That sounds to me like her doctor is not one of the ones prescribing it in ridiculous amounts to many patients then. My understanding is that is where a lot of the addiction starts, someone has extreme pain and is prescribed Oxy, then when they see an improvement in pain experienced they are not weaned off it soon enough. My basic layperson's understanding of it is that, if there is need for this pain management medication addiction probably won't occur. It's when you take it when you don't actually need it that it becomes a problem quickly.

I think it all comes back to poor medical oversight on the part of physicians. So I agree, a law like you suggest would be more useful in preventing misuse and not penalize those that have legitimate need of this drug.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I did a quick google search last night when I first read the article and found the name of what my mother is prescribed.

OxyContin: Straight talk-CAMH



That sounds to me like her doctor is not one of the ones prescribing it in ridiculous amounts to many patients then. My understanding is that is where a lot of the addiction starts, someone has extreme pain and is prescribed Oxy, then when they see an improvement in pain experienced they are not weaned off it soon enough. My basic layperson's understanding of it is that, if there is need for this pain management medication addiction probably won't occur. It's when you take it when you don't actually need it that it becomes a problem quickly.

I think it all comes back to poor medical oversight on the part of physicians. So I agree, a law like you suggest would be more useful in preventing misuse and not penalize those that have legitimate need of this drug.

Agreed.

I think it can be addictive after 1 or 2 doses too. When prescribed, help with withdrawal symptoms and getting off of the drug should come rather than just a prescription running out. Its that new addict which will turn to the black market to keep the rush going if not helped or at least educated about the withdrawal process. But this puts more work on the doctor.
 
petros
#28
Fentanyl....a real bitch to abuse.
 
Ron in Regina
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Fentanyl....a real bitch to abuse.

Fentanyl: Fentanyl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
bill barilko
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Wow, your humanity knows absolutely no boundaries, doesn't it?

If they want sympathy they can look in the dictionary between sh!t & syphilis Yes.


Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

You'd think morphine (far more abused than oxy) won't be available either by the way this thread sounds.

Remember this is all about 'special' Canadians not just garden variety drug users-thus the overt concern.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Afghani heroin will fill the bill nicely.

My point exactly-the market will always fill a need-Harper's neo cons would be proud of this situation.
 

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