NEW YORK — Canada's federal government has allowed the approval process for a generic opioid painkiller to go forward despite objections from provincial and other authorities, according to published reports.
The Associated Press reported that Canadian health minister Leona Aglukkaq turned down requests from provincial and aboriginal tribal authorities to delay approval of a generic version of Purdue Pharma's OxyContin (oxycodone). OxyContin will lose its patent protection in Canada on Sunday.
According to AP, the drug is blamed for widespread addictions among rural and tribal communities. It is also a popular target of drug abusers in the United States, which has prompted Purdue to launch a tamper-resistant form of the drug.
Still, according to a recent study published in the Canadian journal Open Medicine, the launch of the tamper-resistant version of the drug may have influenced a spike in the dispensing rate of the original version at pharmacies in Canadian border cities.