U.S. congress members concerned over Canadian oxycodone rules

Ten congress members write letter to Health Minister Rona Ambrose expressing concerns over cross-border transportation of the drug

OTTAWA – Members of U.S. congress have written to Health Minister Rona Ambrose to draw attention to their concerns over Canada’s proposal to force all oxycodone producers to make tamper-resistant forms of the drug.

In a note penned on July 22 and obtained by The Canadian Press, 10 congress members including co-chairs of the Northern Border Caucus say the intentions of Health Canada are “laudable.”

But the group says Canada’s three year timeline to deliver this promise is a source of concern.

The letter says there is evidence generic versions of oxycodone continue to be transported or diverted into the United States from Canada and that has further exacerbated the public health crisis of addiction on both sides of the border.

The letter comes after Health Canada issued a notice of pre-consultation last month calling for stakeholder feedback on a proposal to require all controlled-release oxycodone products to have tamper-resistant properties before they can be sold.

Ambrose’s office said it has yet to receive the letter from members of congress, but a spokesman said Canada is looking at its prescribing practices, the use of tamper-resistant properties and actions to tighten licensing rules to prevent illegal distribution of the drug.

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