Dispensing of non‐tamper‐deterrent brands of oxycodone close to the Canadian USA border

Tara Gomes, David A Henry, Mariam Mukati, J. Michael Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


Background: Since 2010, tamper‐deterrent long‐acting oxycodone has been available in both the USA and Canada. However generic, non‐tamper‐deterrent brands of oxycodone were only introduced in Canada.

Objectives: We aimed to determine if the availability of non‐tamper‐deterrent oxycodone in Canada led to increased sales from Canadian pharmacies close to the USA border, which might be indicative of cross‐border trafficking.

Methods: Using the IMS Brogan Geographic Prescription Monitor database, we conducted an analysis of long‐acting oxycodone dispensing trends in Canadian community pharmacies in geographic areas contiguous with 113 Canada–USA border crossings between 1st February 2012 and 31st January 2014.

Results: Over the study period, 8 507 882 long‐acting oxycodone tablets were dispensed by Canadian pharmacies in regions close to the US border. Following the introduction of generic long‐acting oxycodone, the rate of long‐acting oxycodone dispensing reduced in the border regions of the most populous provinces, Ontario British Columbia and Quebec, and rose slightly in Manitoba (4.4%) and New Brunswick (3.6%). Long‐acting oxycodone dispensing rates rose by 45.5% in the border regions of Alberta and 92.3% in Saskatchewan; however, only 3341 long‐acting oxycodone tablets dispensed were for the generic non‐tamper‐deterrent formulations. Examination of the dispensing patterns in 50 border areas after the marketing of non‐tamper‐deterrent oxycodone brands in Canada revealed no patterns suggestive of trafficking.

Conclusions: There were no large increases in the dispensing rates of prescriptions for generic non‐tamper‐deterrent long‐acting oxycodone in Canadian pharmacies close to 113 Canada–US border crossings such as were seen at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel after the withdrawal of OxyContin in the USA in 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Article number240
Pages (from-to)134-135
Number of pages2
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 31st International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management - Boston, United States
Duration: 22 Aug 201626 Aug 2016
Conference number: 31st


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