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.

Just Posted

Aussies buy majority stake in Red Chris mine

Company looks forward to relationship with Tahltan Nation

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients to drop by 31 per cent: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Crown drops one assault charge against B.C. man linked to human remains probe

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

POLICE: ‘Don’t leave children unattended in vehicles’

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

Most Read