Proposed regulations would allow doctors to prescribe heroin to addicts

Health Canada is planning to change regulations to allow doctors to prescribe heroin to some opioid addicts who do not respond to treatments such as methadone.

Move reverses 2013 Harper decision banning BC doctors from prescribing to addicts

Health Canada wants to allow addicts, that do not respond well to other forms of addiction treatment, access to heroin in special cases. (David Ryder/Reuters)

Health Canada is planning to change regulations to allow doctors to prescribe heroin to some opioid addicts who do not respond to treatments such as methadone.

The move reverses a 2013 decision under the Harper government, which banned a group of British Columbia doctors from prescribing the drug to a small group of addicts.

In 2014, a B.C. judge granted an injunction exempting the doctors and patients from the ban.

Health Canada now plans to allow access to heroin in special cases, according to a regulatory amendment published in the Canada Gazette.

Interested parties have 30 days to comment on the proposal.

Under the change, heroin would be covered under what the department calls its special access program, or SAP.

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