The trouble with pharmaceutical abuse

While Leona Aglukkaq writes to the provincial health ministers about OxyContin and prescription drug abuse, John Geddes questions the Harper government’s approach.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq might have a point when she argues that banning a generic version of OxyContin, as some provincial governments have urged her to do, would amount to unfairly taking aim at a “tempting political target,” while in the process ignoring proper procedure for approval of prescription drugs.

But if Aglukkaq is right that new versions of highly addictive controlled-release oxycodone should be allowed for the sake of patients who would benefit, she leaves open a bigger question: Why has Conservative policy stubbornly insisted on pretending that prescription drug abuse is an issue separate from the abuse of illegal drugs?

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