Scientific Director Dr. Jason Busse


A Message from the Director

Welcome to the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre. In collaboration with patient partners, clinical experts and methodologists, one of the National Pain Centre's primary functions is to develop, update and disseminate clinical practice guidelines for pain management.

- Jason Busse, DC, PhD


The frequent misuse of opioids, a drug used for pain management, has led to a global opioid crisis. Efforts are now in place to make naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, more accessible to non-medical personnel. But why are their prices going up? This video provides an overview of the opioid crisis, current means of treatment and the role of pharmaceutical companies in the rise of treatment costs.

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Author Details

  • Cicero TJ, Inciardi JA, and Muñoz A (2005) Trends in abuse of OxyContin® and other opioid analgesics in the United States: 2002-2004. The Journal of Pain, 6(10): 662-672.
  • Elzey MJ, Fudin J and Edwards ES (2017) Take-home naloxone treatment for opioid emergencies: a comparison of routes of administration and associated delivery systems. Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery,14(9):1045-1058.
  • Galofaro C and Gelineau K (2019) Cashing in on a cure: affiliate of Oxycontin-maker sets sights on naloxone market. Global News, The Associated Press.
  • Gupta R, Shah ND and Ross JS (2016) The Rising Price of Naloxone — Risks to Efforts to Stem Overdose Deaths. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(23):2213-2215.
  • Kim HK and Nelson LS (2015) Reducing the harm of opioid overdose with the safe use of naloxone: a pharmacologic review. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, 14(7):1137-1146.
  • Langham S, Wright A, Kenworthy J, Grieve R, Dunlop WC (2018) Cost-Effectiveness of Take-Home Naloxone for the Prevention of Overdose Fatalities among Heroin Users in the United Kingdom. Value in Health, 21:407–15.
  • Mckeage K, Lyseng-Williamson KA (2018) Naloxone nasal spray (Nyxoid®) in opioid overdose: a profile of its use in the EU. Drugs & Therapy Perspectives, 34:150–6.
  • Orlowski JP and Wateska L (1992) The effects of pharmaceutical firm enticements on physician prescribing patterns: there's no such thing as a free lunch. Chest, 102(1): 270-273.
  • Ryan SA and Dunne RB (2018) Pharmacokinetic properties of intranasal and injectable formulations of naloxone for community use: a systematic review. Pain Management, 8(3):231-245.
  • Skolnick P (2018) On the front lines of the opioid epidemic: Rescue by naloxone. European Journal of Pharmacology, 835:147-153.
  • Stolberg SG and Gerth J (2000) High-tech stealth being used to sway doctor prescriptions. The New York times on the Web: A1-A22.
  • Unick GJ and Ciccarone D (2017) US regional and demographic differences in prescription opioid and heroin-related overdose hospitalizations. International Journal of Drug Policy, 46: 112-119.
  • Van Zee A (2009) The promotion and marketing of oxycontin: commercial triumph, public health tragedy. American Journal of Public Health, 99(2): 221-227.

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