Drug Shortages: Companies Pitch Action Plan, Dodge a Health Canada Bullet

From Canadian Press DataFile (October 16, 2011)


OTTAWA _ Pharmaceutical companies in Canada have dodged a bullet by coming up with a plan to deal with increasingly worrisome shortages of prescription drugs.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq took the pharmaceutical industry to task in August for failing to figure out ways to deal with a growing number of shortages.

She told industry and medical associations that unless they found a way to alert doctors to a growing number of shortages by Sept. 30, she would impose a solution.

In recent letters obtained by The Canadian Press, the companies respond to the threat by agreeing to pool information on shortages and pending shortages, and then post the details "in coming weeks" on two existing public websites.

They also pledge to build a more comprehensive one-stop website that will become a permanent, reliable source of information about drug shortages _ as long as Health Canada helps with funding.

But they stop short of agreeing on ways to actually reduce the shortages.

 

Posted: October 2011


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