Ontario’s Ministry of Health is targeting high doses of certain painkillers in the hopes of reducing potential addiction issues across the province.
The plan is to stop paying for high doses of long-acting opioids and remove them from the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary.
The ODBF currently covers the cost of drugs for people who are 65 or older, live in a long-term care home, have high drug costs compared to their income or get social assistance.
Targeted drugs are high doses of long-acting opioids, certain doses of morphine and some fentanyl patches.
Fentanyl is of particular concern having made recent headlines across the country, especially B.C. where the province declared a public health emergency in April.
In June, The B.C. Coroners Service revealed a noticeable spike in the number of drug-related deaths, estimating that 56% of overdose deaths this year will be related to fentanyl.
Ontario’s ministry says the drugs will be removed from the formulary in January 2017.