Tuesday, February 17, 2004

From WEEK-TV (Ill.):
Canadian Drug Issue
Political candidates throughout the country have made purchasing prescription drugs from Canada a key issue within their campaigns.

While the law restricts state government or businesses from buying medicine from Canada, there's nothing keeping you from doing so for your own personal use.

From CTV.ca:
'Hillbilly heroin' takes strong hold on addicts
Police in Atlantic Canada say the abuse of so-called "hillbilly heroin" -- the name given to prescription painkiller OxyContin because of its relatively cheap buzz -- is on the rise.

First introduced in 1995 by Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Conn., the powerful OxyContin offers relief to those with cancer and chronic pain.

The drug has become an increasingly popular choice for doctors -- with prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies Canada-wide soaring 400 per cent since 2000.

But it's also grown in popularity among abusers, lured by the high produced from crushing, then injecting, snorting or swallowing the drug.

From the Toronto Star:
Do vital drugs boost risk of breast cancer?
Antibiotic use is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer, a new study has found, raising the possibility that women who take the widely used medicines are more prone to one of the most feared malignancies.

Canada wins round in antibiotic resistance battle
Canada appears to have won a round in the critical battle against antibiotic resistance, new data released today suggests.
But experts warn that the fight to stay ahead of bacteria's ability to evade these essential drugs will never be over.

"This is a battle that we'll continually have to fight," infectious disease expert Dr. Donald Low said as he released data from an annual report card on antibiotic resistance rates.

The first-of-its-kind study of more than 10,000 Washington state women concluded that those who used the most antibiotics had double the chances of being struck by breast cancer.

From CBC.ca:
Canada's antibiotic resistance campaign pays off
Canada seems to be keeping ahead of bacteria and their ability to evade antibiotics, but the battle isn't over.

The Canadian Bacterial Surveillance Network's annual report on antibiotic resistance says rates are levelling off, a welcome change from years past.

Sharp increase in children hurt by prescription drugs
The number of Canadian children harmed by suspected prescription drug reactions has tripled in the last five years, CBC News has learned.

CBC obtained the database Health Canada uses to track suspected adverse drug reactions. It shows about 500 reports of children who had what are suspected to be adverse drug reactions in the last year.

From the Edmonton Journal:
Drug risks hidden from public
Pharmaceutical companies are deceiving patients and doctors by keeping negative results from drug trials "locked in the filing cabinet," Can-ada's leading medical journal warns.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal says Health Canada is complicit in this "file drawer phenomenon" by too often keeping quiet about buried evidence that questions drug safety and effectiveness

From the Globe and Mail:
Antidepressants found ineffective on teenagers
Widely used antidepressant drugs prescribed to tens of thousands of Canadian teens and children are barely more effective than placebos in treating adolescent depression, according to a leading Canadian expert in the field.

The assertion by psychiatrist Jane Garland follows a recent cascade of critical information questioning the risk and effectiveness of prescribing antidepressant medication for troubled young patients.

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