Libby calls for the regulation of childrens’ medications

House of Commons
June 15, 2011

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health is well aware that children in Canada are at risk to the improper use of medications, because Health Canada does not require drug companies to disclose information on drug effects on children. It seems astounding that Health Canada would allow this to happen.

Drug safety is a huge public concern, so why is the minister not aggressively protecting the health of children and all Canadians with strict regulations for drug safety?

Mr. Colin Carrie (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member and all Canadians that we have one of the safest drug approval systems in the world. We have made significant investments in the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network. As well, our government also created MedEffect Canada, a one-stop resource for health product safety information and adverse reaction reporting.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I think the parliamentary secretary should get up to speed, because the Canadian Medical Association Journal certainly does not seem to think the government has addressed this issue in any adequate way.

In both the U.S. and Europe, regulatory and legislative changes ensure drug testing and disclosure on the effects of medications on children, but Canada lags far behind.

Will the minister commit today to regulations that require full disclosure by drug companies so that children are not at risk when they are taking their medications?