As per a recent report, the drug OxyContin, which is highly prescribed for being known as a painkiller, is being removed by Ontario from the list of its drug benefit program. It is being done since the drug overdose causes several numbers of deaths each year in the province.
It has been announced on Friday that the drug would be delisted from the program as it has become an addiction epidemic in the province. The so called hillbilly heroin is suggested by physicians at a large pace and its addictive attributes led people to take its extra doses.
The report says that the province has taken the decision of delisting not only OxyContin but its substitute too. The Health Minister, Deb Matthews, has affirmed that the problem of drug abuse and its large prescription by doctors is being taken seriously, aiming to cut the use of the drug that could further reduce number of deaths of people.
However, it is not for the first time that a drug has been delisted because of safety concerns, says the report. But, the removal of the drug for its abuse and addiction has happened for the first time. It is being said that the change introduced in the system would most possibly help in making it hard for physicians to prescribe the same.
As per the addictions specialists and physicians who treat chronic pain with the drug, the new strategies would encourage physicians to confirm benefits and risks of the drug first and then prescribe it. “Over time, what we will likely see is a reduction in the number of people who are prescribed OxyContin and as a consequence hopefully see fewer people becoming addicted . . . and a fewer people dying of OxyContin overdoses”, said Dr. Irfan Dhalla, a physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital.