A CALL FOR A BETTER WAY TO FIND OUT ABOUT DRUG SHORTAGES

Dec 27, 2012

By Bob Sheppard

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Newly released documents show Health Canada has expressed concerned drug makers could not always be trusted to voluntarily report medication shortages.

The warning came before federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq last year instructed the industry to create a voluntary system informing doctors and pharmacists of shortfalls.

Bureaucrats cautioned that a voluntary approach was “susceptible to bad company behaviour” since manufacturers would not be punished for failing to report.

Drug shortages have become increasingly common in recent years and have left Canadians without vital medications, including chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics.

Critics say the best way to guarantee a reliable drug supply is for Ottawa to force manufacturers to give notice of production gaps.

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