Health Canada bring in new measures to stop drug shortages


Sarah Peddie

Health Canada announced plans and brought in new measures which will prevent drug shortages throughout the nation. 

The Canadian Government wants to ensure that the people of Canada have access to the medications they need and when they need them. 

Drug shortages have now become a big global challenge due to the coronavirus pandemic and there has been an increase in demand for certain drugs.

Canada represents just two percent of global drug sales and sources 68 percent of its drugs internationally. 

In 2017, drug manufacturers had to report drug shortages publicly. 

The new measures that have come in will protect Canada’s drug supply from bulk importations that could worsen the drug shortage.

It came into place on November 27 - certain drugs are now only intended for the Canadian market and are prohibited from being distributed internationally. 

Companies within the country will now also be required to give information to assess any existing or potential shortages, and within 24 hours if there is a serious health risk.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, said: “Our healthcare system is a symbol of our national identity and we are committed to defending it. 

“The actions we are taking today will help protect Canadians’ access to the medication they rely on.”

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