Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drug Safety and Health Canada Going, Going… Gone?

Health Canada’s drug safety procedures lacking, says study
April 20, 2009 | National Office | Topic(s): Health, health care system, pharmacare | Publication Type: Press Release

OTTAWA—Health Canada’s drug safety procedures leave a lot to be desired, says a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Drug Safety and Health Canada: Going, Going… Gone? by Dr. Joel Lexchin says Health Canada’s priorities are skewed in favour of rapid approval of new drugs at the expense of the post-marketing pharmaco-surveillance system.

“In Canada 3-4% of drugs approved will eventually be withdrawn from the market because of safety issues and the number of people exposed to these drugs is increasing because of aggressive marketing tactics by the pharmaceutical industry,” says Dr. Lexchin.

According to the study, there are significant limitations to The Food and Drugs Act.

“Health Canada cannot force a drug company to recall drugs deemed harmful from pharmacy shelves,” says Dr. Lexchin. “Nor can they directly compel a company to revise product labels to reflect new safety information.”

In order to improve drug safety, the study makes several recommendations for Health Canada, including:

Stop the treatment safety information as confidential and make it public available promptly after approving a new drug;
Decrease dependence on industry for safety information by using progressive licensing and ensuring post-market studies are undertaken, analyzed, and reported on, independent of industry;
Reorient priorities so that post-marketing pharmaco-surveillance is on equal footing with the approval of new drugs; and
Undertake a systematic study to examine whether faster drug approvals lead to more post-marketing safety issues.

Drug Safety and Health Canada: Going, Going… Gone? is available from the CCPA website at

For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.


Lyme Disease in Neurology and Psychiatry

Chinese-American author Amy Tan thought she was losing her mind. After receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment, she is recovering from Lyme Disease, and writing again.

Lyme Disease can affect anyone! Read about the neurological manifestations of Lyme Disease

Seven-year old on antidepressants hangs himself

'Weeks before his death, Gabriel Myers, the 7-year-old Broward boy who hanged himself in the shower of his foster home, had been prescribed a powerful mind-altering drug linked by federal regulators to an increased risk of suicide in children.'
Please, let's stop these tragedies.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
- W.B. Yeats.