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Insite report keeps message simple for MPs

VANCOUVER - Researchers have prepared a summary report of 30 scientific studies on the impact of Insite in language even the federal health minister would understand, says one of the authors.

The report, titled Findings from the Evaluation of Vancouver's Pilot Medically Supervised Safer Injection Facility - Insite, is intended for public consumption, especially by Members of Parliament, to ensure readers view the peer-reviewed studies as accessible rather than tangled in academic jargon.

The researchers published numerous scientific analyses over the course of the trial program. Collectively, they show a decrease in risk for intravenous drug users who frequent Insite along with improved health and treatment outcomes.

But the research has not convinced the federal government.

"There's consensus among the scientific community but the same can't be said for government," said principal researcher Dr. Evan Wood.

Federal Health Minister Tony Clement in March told the House of Commons Health Committee, "there remains a significant degree of uncertainty in the research," before he called for an appeal of a B.C. Supreme court decision that awarded the safe injection site a constitutional exemption from federal drug laws.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruling was supposed to extend to any similar facilities as of today.

A Supreme Court of Canada decision on the appeal is expected around September.

Dharm Makwana reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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