Why won’t Canada stand up to Purdue Pharma?

The opioid manufacturer admits to illegal activity in the U.S., stops ads there and pays hundreds of millions in penalties. In Canada, it's business as usual

Why won’t Canada stand up to Purdue Pharma?By Nav Persaud University of Toronto and Andrew S. Boozary University Health Network Canadians are paying dearly for government inaction over the opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma recently announced that it will stop advertising opioids to doctors in the United States after pleading guilty to misleading marketing more than a decade ago. This is a major,…

Ontario politicians addicted to ill-fated pharmacare

Free prescription drugs skew people away from healthy lifestyles and spread the financial burden to taxpayers who don’t qualify for the drug plans

Ontario politicians addicted to ill-fated pharmacareOntario taxpayers receive nothing but bad news from their politicians on drugs. In April 2017, both the Liberal government and the opposition NDP proposed expensive drug plans. The one proposed by Liberals took effect on Jan. 1, to the detriment of the public purse. It isn’t a prescription for affordable public health, it’s a prescription…

Altered reality: why legalizing pot remains hazy

The Liberal strategy faces a Senate roadblock, questions about police preparedness and concerns that the provinces won't be ready by July 1

Altered reality: why legalizing pot remains hazyHappy New Year, everyone! It’s time to remove the thick layer of dust off the crystal ball and predict what Canadians will witness in 2018. Besides some obvious choices – more mind-blowing tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continuing to stumble after every fifth word or so – the issue that could…

Let private enterprise retail cannabis in Nova Scotia

A private retail model offers more entrepreneurship overall, particularly in rural areas, and better distribution

Let private enterprise retail cannabis in Nova ScotiaAllowing private cannabis retailers in Nova Scotia would be most consistent with the One Nova Scotia Report and good for entrepreneurs. Yet the online survey the Nova Scotia government organized to ‘consult’ the public about cannabis distribution betrayed a preference for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. (NSLC) to monopolize retail. New Brunswick and Ontario will…

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal Canadians

In his important book Firewater, Harold Johnson talks about the enormous problem of alcohol abuse that plagues so many Indigenous communities

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal CanadiansWhat is the ’60s Scoop and why should a conversation about it still matter to Canadians today? The ’60s Scoop has been much in the news recently, and I expect we’ll hear much more about it in the coming weeks and years. I’m guessing there are already plans to make it the subject of the…

It’s reefer madness to think marijuana will pay the bills

Marijuana legalization opponents say long-term health and social costs will be significant

It’s reefer madness to think marijuana will pay the billsLegalize and tax marijuana and the budget will balance itself. Marijuana advocates from stoners to recreational users to the prime minister have tried to convince us of this for years. But they’re all wrong. It makes some sense that a product so commonly used should be regulated rather than criminalized, sending its newly-enabled taxation revenues…

Cure-all claims for marijuana up in smoke?

Despite the fanfare, the medical benefits of marijuana remain experimental for many conditions

Cure-all claims for marijuana up in smoke?Many Canadians can hardly wait for the day the recreational use of marijuana becomes legal. As a medical doctor, I'm far less enthusiastic. I worry about two things: the experimental nature of marijuana in medical practice and the public health consequences of legalized marijuana. Before you write me off as overly prudish or an anti-marijuana…

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wasteful

It’s time to talk about the overuse of antipsychotics among adults with developmental disabilities

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wastefulBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Tara Gomes St. Michael’s Hospital Inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications – drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Abilify – to seniors, especially those in long-term care with conditions like dementia, has been a hot topic across Canada in recent years. We’ve also increasingly heard about the high numbers of these medications…

We must rethink our approach to battling opioid abuse

As fentanyl deaths continue to rise, we cannot continue to pretend that we are on the path to solving this problem

We must rethink our approach to battling opioid abuseBy Gabriela Novotna and Tom McIntosh University of Regina Thirteen Canadians a day were hospitalized for an opioid overdose in 2014-2015, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), and the rate of opioid poisoning  hospitalizations has been steadily rising. What began with the over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a painkiller once thought to…

Provinces must act to prevent another OxyContin debacle

Two solutions to increase pharmaceutical manufacturers’ accountability to Canadians and their governments

Provinces must act to prevent another OxyContin debacleBy Vanessa Gruben and Louise Bélanger-Hardy University of Ottawa The 10 provincial governments recently accepted a class-action settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. The settlement concerns the misleading claims Purdue Pharma allegedly made to physicians about the addictive nature of the drug. These claims may have contributed to Canada’s epidemic of opioid addiction.…