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Archived - Harper Government moves forward on regulating tamper-resistant properties for prescription drugs

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Adding tamper resistant properties to medications can help curb prescription drug abuse

June 26, 2015
Ottawa, Ontario
Health Canada

Health Canada today published a Notice of Pre-Consultation in Canada Gazette, Part I, seeking stakeholder feedback on draft Tamper-Resistant Properties of Drugs Regulations. The draft regulations would require that all controlled release oxycodone products have tamper-resistant properties before they can be sold in Canada.

These draft regulations build upon the numerous initiatives the Government is supporting to combat prescription drug abuse. The Government of Canada invests approximately $130 million a year to address addictions and drug abuse in Canada under the National Anti-Drug Strategy. These funds contribute to developing tangible and effective solutions to the problems of drug addiction. In 2014, the government committed over $44 million over five years to expand the focus of the National Anti-Drug Strategy from illicit drugs to include measures to address prescription drug abuse.

Over the past several months, the Government of Canada has taken a number of steps to address prescription drug abuse, including:

  • launching a national marketing campaign to equip parents with the information and tools needed to talk with their teenagers about the harmful effects of prescription drug abuse;
  • providing $13.5 million over five years to enhance prevention and treatment services for prescription drug abuse in First Nations communities;
  • launching the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM), a national research network aimed at improving the health of Canadians living with substance misuse;
  • announcing nearly $8 million to support projects to improve prescriber education and to support the development of a national approach to the monitoring and surveillance of prescription drugs,
  • announcing nearly $13 million over five years to increase the number of annual pharmacy inspections carried out by Health Canada; and,
  • releasing four promotional videos featuring personal stories from Canadians directly affected by prescription drug abuse.

Quick Facts

  • Canada is the world's second largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids.
  • In 2013, 22% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using a psychoactive prescription drug. Of these, 2% (about 146,000) reported abusing the drug for non-medical purposes.
  • A comprehensive study on prescription drug abuse by the Standing Committee on Health (HESA) recommended the Government consider the merits of tamper-resistant drugs in addressing prescription drug abuse.
  • On May 15, 2015, the Minister of Health attended the Prescribing Practices Forum in Hamilton, Ontario, bringing together regulatory authorities, health professionals and experts in the field to identify steps to improve prescribing practices, with the ultimate goal of reducing the abuse of prescription drugs.
  • Minister Ambrose hosted a productive symposium on prescription drug abuse in Edmonton on May 19, 2015, where she met with provincial officials, doctors, pharmacists, First Nations representatives, law enforcement and addictions specialists to discuss current challenges, best practices and areas for further action under the National Anti-Drug Strategy.


"Prescription drug abuse is a significant public health and safety concern. Adding tamper resistant properties to drugs at high risk of abuse is an important component of our Government's comprehensive approach to fighting prescription drug abuse."
Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

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Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

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