Health Canada's prescription heroin ban issued on thin ground
In October 2013, Health Canada banned B.C. doctors from prescribing heroin to drug dependents.13 Oct 2014
In October 2013, Health Canada made a regulation change that banned B.C. doctors from prescribing heroin to a small group of drug dependents.
The federal department did that after consulting only one scientific report on the matter, according to documents released in response to a freedom-of-information request. Furthermore, that one expert’s opinion is that prescription heroin, or diacetylmorphine, should remain an available treatment option.
The document was prepared for Health Canada by Dr. Michael Lester, an expert in opioid-dependence treatment and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. It describes prescription heroin as a “pragmatic approach for people who do not significantly reduce their intravenous diacetylmorphine use despite an adequate trial of Methadone Maintenance”.