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Health Bulletin

Update On OxyContin Partnership Strategy

April 4, 2012

"Ontario has taken strong action to address the potential health effects of OxyContin's removal from the Canadian market. Working with my colleagues Ministers Wynne and Hoskins, we've put in place a strategy to monitor the impact of prescription narcotic changes and to immediately expand access to addiction services.

"With guidance from the Expert Working Group on Narcotic Addiction, we're expanding harm-reduction measures, reinforcing clinical best practices for opioid use and have streamlined access to Suboxone. There is still more work to do, but our health care system is ready to respond so that recovering OxyContin users get the care they need."
- Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care


In January 2012, Purdue Pharma formally notified the ministry of its firm intent to cease OxyContin production by February 29, 2012.

On March 1, 2012, an Expert Working Group on Narcotic Addiction was convened by Minister Matthews to provide advice for strengthening the existing addiction treatment system in support of Ontarians with opioid addictions.

On March 12, 2012, Minister Matthews announced a partnership strategy with the support of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, and with guidance from the Expert Working Group on Narcotic Addiction, to monitor the impact of the removal of OxyContin from the Canadian market and to expand access to addiction services in Ontario.

Investments In Treatment

With support from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services through the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, Ontario is providing additional resources for :

Expanded Treatment Options

Ontario has expanded addiction treatment options for people addicted to opioids, including :

Ongoing Monitoring And Updates

The government has been monitoring the OxyContin situation since late February and is receiving regular updates and data to help guide decisions:

To date, the surveillance information has not shown any significant increases in demand for addiction and treatment services across the province. However, Ontario continues to monitor the situation very closely with our healthcare partners and the Expert Working Group on Narcotic Addiction.



Members of the media :

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

Andrew Morrison, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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