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Health Bulletins

Progress On OxyContin Partnership Strategy

May 22, 2012

"Ontario has made progress by expanding treatment options, information resources, and monitoring in response to the removal of OxyContin from the Canadian market. With advice from the Expert Working Group on Narcotic Addition and working with my colleagues Ministers Wynne and Hoskins, we will continue address the health care needs of Ontarians recovering from OxyContin addiction."
- Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Since Purdue Pharma notified the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that it was discontinuing production of OxyContin as of March 1st, 2012, the ministry has been working closely with the Expert Working Group on Narcotic Addiction, health care partners and community leaders to ensure that Ontarians addicted to opioids such as OxyContin receive the health care and support they need.

Treatment Options

Ministry officials are working with addiction treatment organizations to provide access to people seeking treatment, through the following measures:


Resources for the Public and Health Professionals

Under the guidance of the Expert Working Group on Narcotic Addiction and in collaboration with the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH), the ministry has developed an Opioid Advice series for health care professionals to improve outcomes for people addicted to opioids, as well as an Opioid Compendium Page to direct the public and health care providers to relevant resources.

The ministry continues to encourage health professionals who are prescribing opioids to their patients to apply best practices as outlined in the Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain.

Ongoing Monitoring And Updates

To date, the review of available information indicates that there are no significant changes in population health or health system utilization as related to prescription opioids in either community or hospital settings. There have been no significant increases in demand for addiction and treatment services across the province. However, based on the accounts of frontline care providers we do understand that opioid usage patterns are changing, and that certain treatment settings have seen added pressures.

The ministry continues to work with Public Health Ontario to monitor key information related to this issue, which will help inform our ongoing response, including:

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Zita Astravas, 416-327-9728
Minister´s Office

Tori Gass, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ontario.ca/health-news

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