News Release: Heroin and Other Dangerous Drugs Are Banned from Health Canada's Special Access Programme - Government of Canada Puts Safety and Security of Canadians First and Focuses on Treatment and Recovery
New regulations introduced in October 2013 will prevent future access to certain unauthorized controlled substances for individual patient treatment through Health Canada's Special Access Programme (SAP).
The vast majority of requests that the program receives each year, which are from physicians seeking treatment for patients with substances not on the restricted list, will continue to be evaluated.
This change does not affect clinical trials or university research under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
The Special Access Programme (SAP) allows practitioners to request access to drugs that are unavailable for sale in Canada. This access is limited to patients with serious or life-threatening conditions on a compassionate or emergency basis when conventional therapies have failed, are unsuitable, or are unavailable.
Under the new regulations, products containing heroin, unauthorized forms of cocaine or other restricted drugs (for example LSD, ecstasy, 'magic' mushrooms, and 'bath salts') will not be eligible for authorization for individual patient use under the SAP.
The new regulations will come into effect immediately and will more clearly align the Special Access Programme with other government programmes including the National Anti-Drug Strategy.