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Ottawa closes ‘loopholes’ in program that would provide heroin to some addicts

ealth Minister Rona Ambrose says she's banning certain drugs from a federal special access program.
ealth Minister Rona Ambrose says she's banning certain drugs from a federal special access program. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Health Minister Rona Ambrose says she’s banning certain drugs from a federal special access program.

They will include products containing heroin, unauthorized forms of cocaine and other restricted drugs, such as ecstasy and LSD.

READ MORE:  Is Health Canada giving addicts free heroin?

Ambrose says those drugs won’t be authorized for patients under new regulations that take effect immediately.

She says the ban won’t affect clinical trials or university research.

MORE: Cocaine changes the brain rapidly as addicts ‘learn’ addiction, U.S. study suggests

The special access program is designed to let patients in exceptional cases get medications normally not allowed in Canada.

The Conservatives are using the heroin issue as a fundraising platform, saying the NDP and Liberals would make the program permanent if elected in 2015.

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