Health Minister fails to answer questions on transparency of problematic pharmaceuticals

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the framework she talks about is evolving to the point that it simply does not work, because the fact is that Canadians should not have to rely on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to protect our prescription drugs. Public safety must be paramount, and Health Canada’s secrecy must stop. Health Canada has yet to let Canadians know which drugs it quarantined yesterday, so why is the minister so opposed to increasing transparency?

Will she publicly disclose details to Canadians about which drugs have been quarantined and why?

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Health, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the appropriate action has been taken. We have ensured, upon learning about any of the safety issues around the Bangalore, India, plant that Apotex runs, that we have quarantined all products coming out of that plant, and they will not be able to be sold.

I expect that Health Canada will take any further action necessary and work with provinces and territories on any distribution of drug issues.