April 3, 2012
Hon. Leona Aglukkaq
Minister of Health
House of Commons
I am writing to ask for an update on the steps you have taken to follow-up on the NDP’s motion on drug shortages.
On March 14, 2012, Parliament vote unanimously to support the NDP’s motion on drug shortages, which stated: That, in the opinion of this House, the government should: (a) in cooperation with provinces, territories and industry, develop a nationwide strategy to anticipate, identify, and manage shortages of essential medications; (b) require drug manufacturers to report promptly to Health Canada any planned disruption or discontinuation in production; and (c) expedite the review of regulatory submissions in order to make safe and effective medications available to the Canadian public.
I am hoping you will be able to update me on the work of the government to implement the actions outlined in this motion. I have a few specific questions, including:
- How many applications has Health Canada received from drug companies who can temporarily supply medications impacted by drug shortages?
- When does Health Canada anticipate completing its approval process for these expedited medications?
- What steps are you taking to create a national strategy to address drug shortages?
- When do you anticipate bringing in a mandatory reporting system for drug shortages?
I look forward to hearing about the immediate actions you are taking to implement the motion passed in Parliament, which would help thousands of Canadians who urgently require many medications currently in short supply, in order to receive treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and to ease their chronic or post-operative pain.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Libby Davies, MP
NDP Health Critic