The Canadian province of Ontario has passed new legislation in the hopes of stemming the tide of prescription drug abuse.
Ontario plans to launch a new monitoring system that would monitor prescription painkillers and other controlled substances. Ontario already has a database to track drugs prescribed under the public program for senior citizens, welfare recipients and the disabled. The new legislation allows the expansion of the system to cover all drugs dispensed in the province.
Opioid overdoses in Ontario have risen in recent years and claim more lives than HIV. According to Health Minister Deb Matthews, the new system would alert law enforcement if someone goes “doctor shopping” or attempts to fill prescriptions at different pharmacies.
Prescriptions in Ontario for oxycodone and related drugs rose 900 percent since 1991.