Kevin Sorenson Reports
Hon. Kevin Sorenson Tables Private Members Bill
Taking Action Against Abuse of Controlled Substances including Fentanyl
Bill C-307 Proposes Regulation to Protect Canadians by Mandating Specific Drugs to have Abuse-Deterrent or Tamper-Resistance Properties.
The Hon. Kevin Sorenson, Member of Parliament for Battle River-Crowfoot, has introduced a Private Members’ Bill to enable the federal Minister of Health to require specific controlled substances or classes of controlled substances to have Abuse-Deterrent For- mulations (ADF) and/ or tamper-resistance properties making them more difficult to abuse. Sorenson says, “On a daily basis, Canadians hear about drugs – including fentanyl - being tampered with so they can be abused. There is a list of such substances and we know the list will grow. Canadians are suffering and even dying. Surviving relatives and friends are suffering. This Bill will provide the federal Minister of Health one more tool to swiftly combat the abuse of specific drugs now and in the future. It will also make it more difficult for organized crime to profit from trafficking drugs that they have tampered with.”
Bill C-307, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (tamper resistance and abuse deterrence) proposes to expand the Health Minister’s regulatory powers. It will allow Canada to quickly restrict access to and the flow of non-ADF and non- tamper- resistant controlled substances or classes of controlled substances. The Bill calls for the Governor in Council to establish regulations so the federal Health Minister can go to Cabinet and seek to have an order to stop the availability of a specific drug until it has an abuse-deterrent formulation or it has been made tamperresistant.
Sorenson says, “While the term ‘tamper-resistance’ is mainly used by Health Canada, it is included under the more general ‘abuse-deterrent formulations’ in the medical science literature. My bill will keep pace with the evolving technology that prevents substances from being tampered with and abused. This bill could be in effect now and deal with the lethal results of the abuse of fentanyl. My bill will remain useful as new drugs become available and it will accommodate sudden demands for protections against the tragic results from the abuse of specific drugs.
“I accept that abusedeterrent formulations and ‘tamper-resistance’ does not mean that such substances are 100% beyond being abused. Yet, Canadians need protections – and fast – from the scourge of substances including Oxy-Contin, fentanyl, and other opioids. We need our government to be able to take swift action to save lives whenever we learn that specific pharmaceuticals are being tampered with and the results are deadly and wide-spread. We have seen the reports of unsuspecting Canadians ingesting a substance and dying from it over a time period as brief as minutes. We also know that hundreds of Canadians are dying over time periods measured in months. The technology to prevent these deaths is developing fast and we should be prepared to immediately have access to and utilize every development as it becomes available. We need to help protect Canadians from the deadly results of the abuse of available pharmaceuticals. No one measure is a panacea, yet, every effort helps,” Sorenson concludes.
Read Bill C-307:http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=8446293.