FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2013
OTTAWA – With recent confirmation that Health Canada rebuffed oversight meeting requests from a chemotherapy drug supplier, and then attempted to blame the provinces, the NDP is asking the Conservatives to stop playing with Canadians’ lives and take action.
“Drug safety is unequivocally a federal responsibility. When we asked the Minister about this issue in the House she said the drug supplier had never applied for federal regulatory approval,” said Health Critic Libby Davies (Vancouver-East). “These e-mails show that Health Canada failed in its responsibility to protect the Canadian drug supply and it is utterly irresponsible for the Minister of Health to abdicate her responsibility and put Canadian lives at risk.”
Marchese Hospital Solutions supplies intravenous cancer drugs to hospitals. The company repeatedly approached the Ministry of Health in 2011 seeking guidance but no meeting was granted. Following reports that over 1,200 cancer patients in New Brunswick and Ontario had received diluted chemotherapy drugs it was revealed that another supplier had been in operation for nearly 30 years with zero action from Health officials to ensure supply quality.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that drug mixing companies have been operating unregulated for so many years,” said Deputy Critic Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno-Saint-Hubert). “It is unacceptable that a Minister who has been in charge of this file since 2008 has taken no action to fix this problem.”