The Canadian government has given the stamp of approval to six generic versions of the widely abused painkiller OxyContin, despite urgings from some of the country’s leading pain doctors and researchers to hold off, according to this article.
The green light from Health Canada came just after the expiration of the patent held by Purdue Pharma for its long-acting formulation of oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin, the article says.
OxyContin in Canada was phased out earlier this year by Purdue and replaced by an abuse-resistant version known as OxyNEO. But the newly-approved generics will use the same older formulation in the now discontinued Oxy-Contin, the article notes.
Canadians are the second-largest consumers of prescription narcotics and other controlled substances per capita in the world, according to the International Narcotics Control Board.