FYI.

This story is over 5 years old.

Drugs

Toronto Paid $2 Million for Boners Last Year

An audit has raised questions about "excessive and unusual drug claims" for erection drugs and opioids.
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA
October 26, 2016, 3:58pm

The CN Tower doesn't need no pills. Photo by Jason Baker

Toronto city workers are literally getting their dicks hard on the public dime.

According to an auditor general's report released Tuesday, city employees spent $1.9 million on drugs like Viagra and Cialis in 2015 and spend $3 million a year on prescription opioids including fentanyl.

The report broke down some of the "excessive and unusual drug claims."

For example, 16 of the men claiming erection drugs in 2015 were taking more than a year's supply (between 395 and 600 once-a-day pills) in addition to Cialis "on-demand drugs" which are not recommended for daily use.

Advertisement

The city doesn't place a limit on how much workers can claim for erection drugs, something the report said should be corrected to $500 a year. Five employees claimed $5,000 worth of boner meds in 2015.

With opioids, 27 claimants were dispensed the same prescription drug at different pharmacies on the same day (this is known as pharmacy shopping and has been linked to overdoses); 16 claimants were reimbursed an equivalent of two years or more supply of Oxycodone in a one-year period; and several claimants were reimbursed for four times the maximum annual supply of Oxycodone within one year.

According to the RCMP, the street value of Oxycodone ranges from $20-$40 a pill.

More than 30 claimants claimed more than an 18-month supply of fentanyl patches within one year.

In addition, 237 employees made two claims for controlled substances at different pharmacies within the same week and 328 workers were reimbursed for the same drug multiple times on the same days.

About 15 percent of Canadians use prescription opioids for pain, and overdose deaths have seen a spike in recent years. Meanwhile, synthetic fentanyl was responsible for 302 deaths in BC alone from January to August of 2016.

The auditor general noted "prescription opioid pain relievers, sedatives, and stimulants are the three classes of controlled substances most commonly misused and have high tendencies for abuse and diversion."

In total, the city spent $60 million in drug benefits last year.

The report made 18 recommendations to help the city tighten up its oversight of drug claims and prevent the misuse of benefits.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.