Libby questions the Health Minister about the approval of generic Oxycontin


House of Commons


November 28, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, provinces across the country are concerned about the approval of generic OxyContin.

Provincial health ministers have repeatedly asked the government for support but the minister has refused to show any leadership in addressing their legitimate concerns.

For 10 years we have known about the public safety impacts of OxyContin. Why is the minister refusing to co-operate when the provinces have been clear that they are seeking a reasonable solution to an urgent health problem that she should be assisting them with?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, the issue of prescription drug abuse is bigger than one specific pill. That is why our government announced tough new licensing rules that will help to prevent drugs like OxyContin from being illegally distributed. I want to make sure that if Health Canada scientists say these drugs can be beneficial, that these will then be available to the patients who need them. Unlike the opposition, we will not politically interfere in science.