ARSH | Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities

Cross-National Survey of Pharmaceutical Diversion Canada

Steven P. Kurtz, Principal Investigator
Mance Buttram, Co-Investigator
Maria A. Levi-Minzi, Project Director

Project Summary

Since 2014, diversion data have been collected from law enforcement and regulatory agencies throughout Ontario. As reports of drug diversion, abuse and health consequences have increased, and the counterfeit pharmaceutical market emerged in both Canada and the United States, we have built on our successful Ontario-based pilot project to continue monitoring this problem on a larger scale. We have expanded our data collection efforts to include all provinces in Canada. Data from the Canada Drug Diversion Project are collected as part of an ongoing surveillance of the misuse, abuse, and diversion of prescription medications. The study objectives are as follows: 1. To determine the rates of diversion of and street prices of selected prescription drugs among a country wide sample of police and regulatory agencies; and, 2. To identify diversion “signal sites” for specific drugs. On a quarterly basis, diversion survey participants are sent a questionnaire requesting information on new diversion cases involving targeted prescription opioids, including buprenorphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, tramadol, as well as prescription stimulants. Heroin and non-pharmaceutical fentanyl are also included. The study is funded by Canadian Consumer Products & Pharmaceutical Safety Inc., – a not-for-profit- agency based in Toronto.