Health Canada unable to stop the sale of dangerous drugs

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the minister still has not explained her inaction. Just think about it. For the past eight years Canadians and the NDP have been calling for better drug safety measures, including in Bill C-17, yet today Health Canada is still unable to stop the sale of a dangerous drug in Canada.

What steps will the minister take to fix this situation? The health of Canadians is on the line. When is she going to take responsibility?

Ms. Eve Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the opposition would want to raise this issue considering it has stymied every opportunity to pass Vanessa's law before the summer recess. It was our government that went into late-night sittings so that we could pass Vanessa's law. It is currently going through the Senate right now. It will provide the department with mandatory recall powers.

 

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, let us be serious. The government held up that bill for eight months. It was the government's agenda.

The fact is that a U.S. investigation found that an Apotex facility in India was manufacturing unsafe drugs. The Americans banned it. Health Canada tried to follow suit, but Apotex just said “No.” This further demonstrates the Conservatives' failed record, not only on drug safety but also home care, wait times, drug coverage and aboriginal health.

How does this minister account for this dismal record on health care?

Ms. Eve Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, CPC): Mr. Speaker, regarding Apotex, Health Canada did ask the company to stop importing the suspect products, and Apotex refused.

These products have since been subject to additional safety testing. Health Canada has performed additional inspections to ensure all safety issues are addressed.

This Question Period Transcript was posted on September 19, 2014
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