Libby asks Conservative government to support drug shortages motion



House of Commons


March 14, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):  

Mr. Speaker, earlier in response to a question by the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister claimed that the plan in the NDP motion on drug shortages is already being done.

If that were the case, why are the provinces, the territories and health professionals all calling for federal action and leadership? The NDP motion explicitly calls for leadership.

I ask the minister very directly, will the government support the NDP motion and will it take the immediate action prescribed in the motion, yes or no?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):  

Mr. Speaker, we want to ensure that patients and doctors have access to the information about potential drug shortages. However, the truth is there is no mandatory reporting requirements that could predict a fire that would shut down the production of critical drugs. If Health Canada inspectors needed to shut down a plant for a violation, we can keep it open 90 days to meet the mandatory reporting requirements. Mandatory reporting is not a silver bullet for drug shortages. As long as there is one sole-source drug provider for all the provinces and territories, we remain at risk of shortages. We are going to support the provinces and territories in addressing the issue.