Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

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 CALL FOR INVESTIGATION INTO DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE METHADONE INDUSTRY (Canadian article)

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PostSubject: CALL FOR INVESTIGATION INTO DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE METHADONE INDUSTRY (Canadian article)   Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:41 pm

This comes from Canada but we have a lot of Canadian members here who may be interested in this article.


Call for investigation into Downtown Eastside methadone industry


Vancouver City Council will consider Tuesday whether to call on the province and other health authorities to investigate methadone dispensing abuses, including fraud and intimidation, in its Downtown Eastside neighbourhood

Coun. Kerry Jang said he was shocked and appalled when rooming house residents appeared before the city June 30 with fresh allegations of methadone fraud.

Residents who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution alleged, for example, that their landlord watered down or withheld their treatments if they displeased him. Some also said they received payment from him for their prescriptions.

For Jang, their claims sounded all too familiar.

“I’d heard about these types of problems in the past, but I thought they were taken care of several years ago,” he said. “Hearing about these abuses again just absolutely made my blood boil.”

Jang and Coun. Tim Stevenson are proposing the city team up with provincial health officials, Vancouver’s health authority and bodies representing both physicians and pharmacists in B.C. to not only look into specific allegations, but also the entire Methadone Maintenance Treatment system in the province.

Jang referred to a 2010 report to government that recommended better oversight and accountability of the treatment program, which involves several different organizations, ministries and agencies.

“It has to be a co-ordinated approach,” Jang said.

He said he felt the city should take the lead because no one else seemed to be.

“Even though we’re the most junior level of government . . . we have to do something.”

George Wolsey has been under provincial scrutiny since 2000, according to B.C.’s Health Ministry.

Three years ago, amid allegations he was giving kickbacks to methadone patients and requiring tenants of his DTES rooming houses to fill their prescriptions at pharmacies he owned, his pharmacist’s licence was revoked and two pharmacies he owned were shut down.

Registrars with both the College of B.C. Pharmacists and the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons said Monday they would be interested in the proposed task force.

Jang said B.C.’s health minister Mike de Jong has been receptive to the idea.

De Jong was not available for comment Monday, but the ministry released a statement saying they’re willing to work with the city and other authorities to look deeper into program abuses.

The ministry also noted over the last year it has been working closely with the college of pharmacists on a methadone investigation.

Original Link:

http://www.theprovince.com/health/Call+investigation+into+Downtown+Eastside+methadone+industry/5086406/story.html#ixzz1S0oSukts



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