Libby calls an emergency debate in Parliament on drug shortages

Today in Parliament, Libby asked for an emergency debate to discuss the current drug shortages impacting thousands of patients across the country.  Her request was granted by the Speaker and the debate will take place on Monday, March 12, 2012.

House of Commons


March 9, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 52(1), I am requesting that we hold an emergency debate for the purpose of discussing the widespread drug shortages that I think people are now aware of. This is a matter that demands our urgent consideration.

We have become increasingly aware that hospitals and regional health units across the country are currently experiencing severe drug shortages. The impact of these shortages means that, for example, critically ill patients are having their cancer treatment drugs rationed. People with high blood pressure and heart conditions are being affected. People suffering from chronic pain, the side effects of terminal illness, and post-operative pain, people who are experiencing severe pain cannot get a hold of their opiate medication. Also alarming is that the hospitals are already cancelling surgeries and limiting treatment.

I am sure that members have been hearing from their local communities about this emergent situation and how it is impacting so many people and their families. I do believe that all parties and members would want to share their perspectives on what is going on.

There has been some debate during question period in the House, but I think the need for an emergency debate is very evident. I hope that you will respectfully consider my request, Mr. Speaker. I realize that today is a Friday, so I would be quite amenable if the debate were able to take place on Monday. However, I do feel it is a very emergent situation and ask for your careful consideration.