Jul 02, 2014
By Jane Brown
Expect to hear from Health Canada today information regarding serious, sometimes fatal side effects thought to have been caused by unapproved “off label” prescriptions.
The announcement comes after an investigation by the Toronto Star which revealed the federal regulator was keeping crucial information secret.
The information showed whether a drug had been prescribed for an unapproved use and was removed from side effect reports before Health Canada published the reports in its online public data base.
The agency has collected the information for six years but blames technical limitations with the database for preventing its public release. A Health Canada spokesperson says the regulator is upgrading its systems and will disclose the missing information once that is complete.
Today’s announcement is expected to be made by Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose who says in a statement, she “wants Canadians to be able to make informed choices.”