Libby urges improved drug safety measures



House of Commons


April 16, 2013

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, incredibly, it was 17 months ago that the Auditor General alerted the Minister of Health to the problems with drug safety. It has taken that long to get any action.

Now we have over 1,000 patients in Ontario and New Brunswick who have received diluted chemotherapy drugs from a company operating in a legal loophole.

Incredibly, Marchese Hospital Solutions has no provincial or federal oversight, and its products were never inspected. Surely this cannot be allowed to go on, putting the patients’ health at risk.

Why is this minister not taking immediate action to ensure a safe supply of chemotherapy drugs?

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

Mr. Speaker, my thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and families who have been affected by this situation. I have written to the Ontario health minister to voice my concerns. I have also instructed Health Canada officials to co-operate fully with the investigation which the Wynne government is leading.