2018-02-07 from cbc.ca

Local health officials in London, Ont., are warning the ministry of health about door-to-door solicitors that hand out naloxone kits and collect health card numbers to bill the province. 

Shaya Dhinsa of the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) said it's possible the naloxone — an opioid antidote used to save people from fatal overdoses — is being distributed in this way by pharmacies. 

"I have a few ideas where it may be coming from," she said. "It may be a pharmacy."

Dhinsa said she's heard of three complaints from people who were offered naloxone by door-to-door solicitors. 

"This is not really a normal practice," she said. "We don't have people solicit in this way."

Provincial governments across Canada have stepped up distribution of the life-saving drug with the country in the grips of an increasingly deadly opioid crisis. Opioid-related overdoses killed 1,460 Canadians in the first half of last year alone. 

One agency predicts overdoses from opioids like heroin and fentanyl could kill 4,000 Canadians in 2017 by the time the final numbers are tallied.

MLHU distributes naloxone kits for free and does not require a health card number or detailed client information. 

Other community organizations, such as Regional HIV Connection and London InterCommunity Health Centre, also distribute naloxone in this way.

But the kits are also available at pharmacies. Clients provide a health card number, which the pharmacies use to bill the province. Pharmacies are required to provide some education to clients about the proper way to use the kits. 

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