Deadline: 2019-02-01 Award: $1,750,000 CAD Open to: Companies, associations, universities*
Canada is in the midst of a crisis. The number of overdoses and deaths caused by opioids, including fentanyl, has risen sharply and continues to rise.
The Government of Canada is coordinating a whole-of-government approach that is grounded in compassion, collaboration, and evidence.
Drug checking is a harm reduction measure where people have their drugs tested to find out what's in them, including if they contain toxic substances or potent drugs like fentanyl.
A study carried out by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that when people knew that their drugs contained fentanyl, they were more likely to change their behaviour.
Drug checking technologies come in different forms, with varying levels of reliability, and variable results that may require specialized training to interpret correctly.
The challenge has been launched to encourage the creation of a rapid, accurate, easy to use, and low-cost testing device or instrument that can be used with minimal training and preparation work.
The hope is that innovation will encourage innovation that would allow people to more accurately determine the risks associated with drugs they consider taking, in order to provide them with the opportunity to make an informed decision about:
a) not consuming or reducing intended dosage of drugs
b) not using drugs alone
c) having naloxone on-hand
d) visiting supervised consumption or overdose prevention sites
Drug Checking Challenge Blog