New warning stickers will be mandatory on opioids prescribed in Canada starting this October. (Black Press files)

Health Canada to require warning stickers on all opioid prescriptions

More than 1,400 people died of opioid-related overdoses in B.C. in 2017

Opioids dispensed in Canada will soon have to carry stickers that warning the drugs can cause dependence, addiction and overdoses.

The new rules announced by Health Canada Wednesday come as multiple provinces face an ever-escalating overdose crisis related to illicit drug use.

In B.C. alone, more than 1,400 people died of a drug overdose last year. About 225 people have died from the same reason so far this year.

The stickers will come with a handout that explains how to spot symptoms of an opioid overdose, as well as warnings to not share the drugs and to store them out of reach of children.

Health Canada said this is the first time it’s requiring any medication to come with warning labels and patient handouts.

READ: Treat opioid addiction as a chronic disease, says B.C. addictions expert

The rules are also the first application of Vanessa’s Law, or the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act, which was passed after the 15-year-old daughter of Ontario MP Terence Young died in 2000 while taking a prescription drug for a stomach ailment. That drug was later deemed unsafe and pulled from the market.

Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said despite the crisis, legalizing or decriminalizing opioids is off the table.

“By decriminalizing drugs, we’re certainly not going to fix the problem that’s on the streets right now,” she said.

The new labelling rules will come into effect in October.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon businesses get a boost from chamber program

Residents can support local business from home buy purchasing gift certificates

Food support continues for Vernon students despite school closures

Kids aren’t going hungry thanks to Kal Rotary and Starfish Backpack program

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

WATCH: Enderby seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Colouring book will feature images of Summerland

Project is a joint initiative of Summerland Museum and Summerland Community Arts Council

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents on Highway 1

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read