Libby urges the Conservative government to improve drug safety

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House of Commons
November 22, 2011

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, today the Auditor General revealed that Health Canada can take more than two years to evaluate safety issues associated with the use of prescription drugs. The report also highlights that Health Canada is falling short on conflict of interest rules.

This is completely unacceptable when so many new drugs are available and Canadians need adequate, timely and transparent information.

Drug safety is important to all Canadians. Exactly how does the government and the minister plan to reduce the delays that are happening?

We have not heard anything specific from the minister today. I ask her to tell the House how she plans to reduce these delays.

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, my department is implementing the advice of the Auditor General. The Auditor General was very clear in his statements today that there were no cases of conflict of interest; however, we do agree that additional conflict of interest rules should apply to those who review drugs.