November 20, 2012 2:20 pm
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November 20, 2012

Toronto, ON – Chiefs of Ontario sees Health Canada’s announcement on the refusal to withhold approval of the generic form of Oxycontin as a direct setback to the work accomplished to date by many First Nations, as well as the Trilateral First Nations Health Senior Officials Committee (TFNHSOC).

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy stated, “Just when many of our First Nations are finding success in helping their citizens deal with their addiction to the powerfully addictive painkiller Oxycontin, the federal government votes to allow a generic form of the drug to make its way back into the system.  By throwing the issue back to the Provinces with no new funding the government will continue to exacerbate other health and social issues as a result of renewed Oxycontin use and abuse.”

The federal Health Minister has ignored the unanimous agreement by federal, provincial and territorial Ministers and widespread support to delay the approval of the generic drug.  Monitoring distribution and dispensing of Oxycontin has been in place for some time, but the problem has continued to worsen. Legal action against producers and licensed dealers have been inadequate to turn the tide on this extremely lucrative business. 

“While we can understand the need for a legitimate pain medication for those who are suffering from pain, the social and health costs to our people will become a burden to the system if the generic form of Oxycontin again becomes available.  This will set back the progress made to date by the hard work of the Trilateral Mental Health and Addictions working group and so many others that are working so hard to get a grip on the tsunami of addictions.” Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, Chair of the Ontario Chiefs Committee on Health and Co-Chair of the TFNHSOC.

The Chiefs urge Minister Aglukkaq to deny approval of this insidious drug that reaches into the very heart of our families destroying lives and hope.


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