B.C. addicts in court fighting federal ban on prescription heroin

VANCOUVER - A group of chronic drug addicts are asking a Vancouver judge for an injunction against the federal government that would allow them access to prescription heroin until the court hears their legal challenge of the law.

Joseph Arvay, the lawyer representing five heroin addicts, told a judge the four men and one woman were part of a clinical trial that provided them with pharmaceutical-grade heroin until last year. When they left the study, with the recommendation of their doctors, they applied for — and were granted — special access permits from Health Canada to receive the prescription drug, diacetylmorphine.

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose responded by announcing immediate changes to prevent Health Canada from approving prescription heroin under the program.

Dene Moore, The Canadian Press

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