Libby and the NDP demand a plan to address drug shortages


MARCH 14, 2012


NDP urges Conservatives to take action to protect patients and prevent future crises

OTTAWA – The NDP is calling on the Conservatives to adopt a concrete plan to manage the current drug shortage and adopt a national strategy to prevent this type of situation from happening again, as proposed by an NDP motion to be voted on tonight.

The motion restates the demands of health experts and the provinces, who are calling on the government to put in place a system that would require drug manufacturers to report any planned disruptions to Health Canada.

“Currently, drug manufacturers aren’t required to inform authorities of potential supply problems. It’s up to the Conservatives to change that,” said New Democrat Health Critic Libby Davies (Vancouver East). “The government must act immediately to protect patients from avoidable drug shortages.”

“We must ensure that shortages like the current one never happen again,” said NDP Deputy Health Critic Anne Minh-Thu Quach. “If the Conservatives are serious about protecting patients, they’ll support our motion and put in place a real strategy to avoid other problems of this nature. It’s the health of Canadians that’s at stake.”  

Here is the motion below:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should:

  1. in cooperation with provinces, territories and industry, develop a nationwide strategy to anticipate, identify, and manage shortages of essential medications;
  2. require drug manufacturers to report promptly to Health Canada any planned disruption or discontinuation in production; and
  3. expedite the review of regulatory submissions in order to make safe and effective medications available to the Canadian public.