The BC-CfE Strongly Supports Implementation of Physician Access to Prescription Heroin

published on September 8, 2016

“The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and its addictions team enthusiastically supports Health Canada’s decision to allow access to pharmaceutical-grade heroin for the treatment of selected individuals with severe opioid addiction. In a reversal of rules imposed by the previous government, physicians can now count prescription heroin as a treatment option. This is an evidence-based approach to addiction treatment and harm reduction, and we applaud the critical step forward,” said Dr. Evan Wood, Co-Director of the BC-CfE Urban Health Research Initiative and head of the St. Paul’s Goldcorp Addiction Medicine Fellowship.

“Our research has repeatedly demonstrated that expanding access to evidence-based addiction treatment and harm reduction methods has the potential to dramatically reduce negative health outcomes among vulnerable populations. Pushing substance use underground only contributes to harmful outcomes. It can also increase the harms associated with illicitly acquiring or using drugs,” said Dr. Thomas Kerr, Co-Director of the BC-CfE’s Urban Health Research Initiative.

“The BC-CfE congratulates Health Minister Jane Philpott for this important initiative and welcomes this new era of federal evidence-based policymaking in Canada. We look forward to continuing to support federal efforts to expand the benefits of evidence-based public health policies to all Canadians,” added Dr. Julio Montaner, Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

About the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE, is Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is internationally recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. BC-CfE is based at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE works in close collaboration with key provincial stakeholders, including government, health authorities, health care providers, academics from other institutions, and the community to decrease the health burden of HIV and AIDS. By developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses, the BC-CfE helps improve the health of British Columbians.

About the BC-CfE’s Urban Health Research Initiative
The Urban Health Research Initiative (UHRI, is an innovative research program of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS based on a network of studies developed to help identify and understand the many factors that affect the health of urban populations. Focusing primarily on issues relating to substance abuse, infectious diseases, the urban environment and homelessness, UHRI aims to improve the health of individuals and communities through research to inform policy. Founded in 2007, UHRI’s team consists of researchers, epidemiologists, statisticians, ethnographers, research assistants, research coordinators, registered nurses, knowledge translations coordinators, students, and support staff.

For additional information or to request interviews, please contact:
Caroline Dobuzinskis, BC-CfE
Cell: 604-366-6540, Phone: 604-682-2344 ext. 66536
Email: [email protected]

For additional information or to request interviews, please contact:
Diane Pépin
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Cell: 604-653-5673
Phone: 604-682-2344 ext. 63149
Email: [email protected]