Libby Questioning the Minister on Health Canada’s reliance on US FDA to ensure the safety of Canadian drugs

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, obviously there is still a pretty big problem. When Canadians take a prescription drug, they deserve to know it is safe, but now we know that drug companies are knowingly releasing defective drugs in Canada. Instead of learning this from Health Canada, we had to hear it from the FDA. Health Canada refuses to release information on whom it monitors or what violations are found.    

How can Canadians trust Health Canada when there is no transparency, and how could transparency and monitoring have become so bad in this country?

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Health, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would ask the member to not fearmonger. She knows very well that Health Canada inspectors are professional. All of us recognize that nowhere is confidence and transparency more important than in the decisions made that affect the health and safety of Canadians.

In fact, we just recently launched a world-leading regulatory transparency framework and action plan at Health Canada. We are just starting to post inspections of any pharmaceutical facilities and will continue to do just that so they are made public and available.