B.C. addicts get injunction to keep using prescription heroin

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VANCOUVER - A B.C. judge has granted addicts who were given prescription heroin as part of a clinical trial a temporary injunction to continue getting the drug while a court case proceeds.

Five people filed a lawsuit alleging the federal government is violating their charter rights by denying them access to prescription heroin to treat their addictions.

Those patients received the heroin during a clinical trial, but once they left the trial last year, their doctors asked for special federal approval to continue prescribing the drug.

That approval was initially granted, but Health Minister Rona Ambrose changed regulations to prevent such approvals.

Pivot Legal Society, which is helping the patients with their lawsuit, says a judge has granted a temporary injunction to allow the patients to be prescribed heroin.

The plaintiffs argue prescription heroin is an effective treatment for chronic addiction for patients who haven't been helped with other options, such as methadone.

Organizations: Legal Society

Geographic location: VANCOUVER

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