#CBC: “Health Canada asked 102 drug companies to stop marketing opioids. Just 25 responded” #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada


This summer time, the federal well being minister requested greater than 100 pharmaceutical firms to cease advertising opioids to well being care professionals in Canada. So far, only a quarter of them have written again.

Nearly 4,000 Canadians died from obvious opioid overdoses final 12 months, up from practically 3,000 in 2016. As a part of her division’s response to the disaster, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor wrote to 102 opioid producers and distributors earlier this summer time asking them to instantly cease pitching the medication to well being care employees whereas the federal government considers introducing new laws.

Just 25 drug firms had responded as of Sept. 5, in response to Health Canada’s data.

Of these firms that responded, six — Ethyparm, Mint Pharmaceuticals Inc., Paladin Labs Inc., Pro Doc Ltée, Purdue Pharma and Teligent — agreed to stop advertising opioids.

The others wrote again to inform the division they do not presently promote or promote opioids in Canada. Indivior Canada, which makes the opioid substitute remedy Suboxone, argued in its letter for a distinction between merchandise prescribed for ache and people meant for dependancy remedy.

“Indivior is committed to ethical and responsible marketing and promotion,” reads the corporate’s response.

Thierry Belair, a spokesperson for the minister, mentioned they are “cautiously optimistic” in regards to the outcomes thus far.

Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, publicized their response to the minister again in July. Its letter says the corporate has stopped actively selling its prescription opioids in Canada — however would nonetheless talk about its opioids with health-care professionals “reactively” by having employees in its medical affairs division cope with “requests for information.”

South of the border, the corporate has acknowledged that its promotions exaggerated the security of taking OxyContin and minimized the dangers of dependancy, however its Canadian arm hasn’t made any admissions of accountability.

The province of British Columbia named Purdue Pharma, Paladin Labs and Pro Doc, amongst others, in its not too long ago launched lawsuit to reclaim prices related to the continuing opioid disaster.

The provincial authorities alleges the businesses contributed to that disaster by downplaying the dangers of their opioid merchandise — notably their addictive potential — when promoting them to physicians.

New laws might be coming 

Canada has the second highest fee, per capita, of prescription opioid use on the earth, and the variety of opioid-related hospital visits and deaths right here is rising.

Petitpas Tayor’s letters to the drug producers and distributor had been meant to behave as a stopgap measure whereas the federal government decides whether or not or the best way to introduce restrictions on the way in which drug firms market opioids to docs.

The authorities has consulted with stakeholders and new laws might be in place by early 2019.

Those laws may embody new limits on visits by drug firms’ gross sales representatives to docs’ workplaces, conferences and academic programs sponsored by opioid makers and opioid advertisements in scientific journals.

“While there is value in the pharmaceutical industry conveying educational and scientific information about a health product,” says a publish on Health Canada’s web site, “evidence suggests that the marketing and advertising of opioids has contributed to increased prescription sales and availability of opioids.”

Dr. Joel Lexchin, who has studied the business for near 40 years, mentioned he’d prefer to see Health Canada take over drug advertising altogether.

“The biggest issue that Health Canada has to grapple with is the fact that, for virtually the entire existence of Health Canada, it’s turned over regulation or promotion to either the pharmaceutical industry itself or to organizations, which are heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry,” he mentioned.

“I used to show at York University. The equal of what goes on within the drug world can be to inform the scholars, ‘Well, you outline what’s dishonest on the examination and also you monitor your self. And in case you’re caught, you determine what the penalties must be.”’

Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-09-14 04:00:00, as ‘Health Canada requested 102 drug firms to cease advertising opioids. Just 25 responded’ on CBC RADIO-CANADA. Here is a supply hyperlink for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

CBC Radio-Canada

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