Health Canada should delay approval of generic OxyContin, health ministers say

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HALIFAX - Provincial health ministers are calling on Ottawa to delay the approval of a generic form of OxyContin.

David Wilson, Nova Scotia's health minister, announced today that provincial and territorial ministers unanimously agreed to ask for the delay until further research is done on the highly addictive drug.

The ministers are meeting in Halifax this week, and their federal counterpart, Leona Aglukkaq, is expected to join them Friday.

Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews says the pain-relief drug — whether it's in brand-name or generic form — is too addictive, too easy to tamper with and is causing particularly "devastating" consequences in First Nations communities.

She says there are alternatives to OxyContin that can't be easily ground up and turned into powders or liquids for illicit use.

The ministers attending the meeting also called on Ottawa to consult the provinces before implementing any possible funding cuts to native and immigrant health programs.

Organizations: Health Canada, First Nations

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Ottawa, Nova Scotia Ontario

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