Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. It shows why this bill is important and why some of the measures have talked about to strengthen the bill would make this bill different.
For starters, when a drug goes through clinical trials before it gets to Health Canada and gets a notice of compliance, all of that information is kept absolutely secret. No one knows about it. Physicians are not warned. Pharmacists are not warned. Nobody knows how the clinical trials went, what the reasons were for accepting the drug, or what the problems were with the drug.
That is what we are asking for. They are doing it in Europe, and the FDA has now tabled its desire to do that and has put it forward.
At the same time, clinical trials are limited, in that they only go to a certain cohort of people. When the drug hits the general public, adverse reactions and risk factors, as in the case of OxyContin, do not come forward until it has been in the marketplace for some time. It is then that we suddenly find that people are finding very specific uses for it out there.
Every single opiate is addictive, and so was OxyContin. Everyone knew that, but the fact that people could take OxyContin and syringe it and add various things to it and inject it was not known in the clinical trials because they were not doing it in the clinical trials. That is another reason we want complete surveillance of drugs. It is to provide a warning, over the course of time, as to what the new adverse effects are.
It therefore blows my mind, knowing all of this, that the government would approve the generic production of OxyContin to six different generic companies within the last year, knowing what it now knows about OxyContin and having been asked not to do it.