The House Covers the Opioid Crisis

Spread the love

This morning’s ‘The House’ on CBC covered the opioid crisis in Canada.

The full podcast and story can be found here.

I don’t know where to start with this, but here are a few random thoughts:

  1. Most opioids came onto the market as part of a ‘get rich quick’ scheme for a small handful of pharmaceutical companies;
  2. Most doctors bought into the literature concerning highly addictive drugs like Fentanyl and seemed to prescribe them.  By last year, there were roughly 20 million opioid-related, commercially produced pills on the street;
  3. This has become a FEDERAL issue and leadership is needed immediately;
  4. One pharmaceutical company – Purdue – got a slap on the wrist for not advising the medical community about the hazards and addictive potential of drugs like Fentanyl;
  5. Everyone is saying we need more Nalaxone – another name brand product brought to us by pharmaceutical companies – to stock the shelves to help addicts.

Of course, all governments around the world are facing the same crisis.

Here are some thought how we in Canada can address the issues:

  1. Ban the commercial use and distribution of opioids immediately.
  2. Prevent anyone in the medical community from prescribing them.
  3. Sue and pursue the pharmaceutical companies that have profited from creating this crisis. If, in the case of Purdue, we can’t sue any further, block them from the Canadian health care system until they commit to spending every dollar earned from Canadian taxpayers on remediation and treatment programs.  From their own pockets.
  4. Treat the root of the issue as a mental health issue. ANYONE that takes an opioid today should be seen as suicidal given the risks of addiction and difficulty with withdrawal.
  5. If Naloxone or any other preventative kits are to be used by any public authority, the pharmaceutical companies that have profited from the opioid crisis should donate them. While our government ‘gives the kits away for free‘, we know that taxpayers ultimately have to foot the bill for this.  The question is ‘how much?’

These drugs have rapidly crushed the heart and soul of many downtown areas, sent tens of thousands of people into a world of addiction and sorrow and are killing dozens every single day.

The price of the stop-gap solution – Naloxone – has skyrocketed over the past few years, not because it’s a rare commodity, but because of price gougingAnother story here.

One of the producers of Naloxone kits – Amphastar – generated nearly $40 million (US) from the kits.

WIRED Magazine calls the system perverse.

I agree.

We fret about bullshit issues like marijuana and control of alcohol and yet we are so blindly out of control with opioids.

I’m accused of being a moron and a paranoid animal that hates my child when it comes to vaccines, but when I look at how these companies are gouging governments in response to a crisis that they helped create, is it any wonder I’m concerned about their ability to act in the public interest?

They don’t report to me, they report to shareholders.

Shame on those who let it get so far so quickly.

Category: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply