PharmaWatch Canada

PharmaWatch Canada was founded to support “direct-from consumer” reporting of adverse reactions to prescription medicine.


Our goal is to highlight and validate consumer experiences and heighten consumer involvement in adverse drug reaction reporting.

In addition to documenting these experiences, we aim to facilitate networking among individual consumers and advocacy groups who share our concerns about the lack of adequate post-market monitoring by the pharmaceutical industry and Health Canada.

Our Board of Directors

Wendy Armstrong, health policy researcher.
Warren Bell, practising family physician.
Alan Cassels, writer, lecturer and researcher in pharmaceutical policy and practices.
Janet Currie, policy analysis, researcher and consumer activist with prescription drug and health product safety.
Colleen Fuller (Chair), health policy researcher and analyst.
Carol Kushner, writer and private consultant.
Joel Lexchin, professor, emergency physician and consultant on pharmaceutical issues.
Barbara Mintzes, epidemiologist, reviewer of new medicines.

Board of Directors’ Bios

Wendy Armstrong is the former President and Executive Director of the Consumers Association of Alberta. In addition to her consumer advocacy work, she is a health policy researcher with an interest in ‘real world’ practices and experiences related to medical technologies, devices and pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Warren Bell is a practising family physician. He has for decades addressed the link between human and ecosystem health, as well as studied and practiced integrative medicine. He is author of the only published peer-reviewed critique of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS).

Alan Cassels is a writer, lecturer and researcher in pharmaceutical policy and practices. He is the co-author (with Ray Moynihan) of Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All Into Patients and the author of Seeking Sickness:  Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Pre-Disease (to be published in April 2012).

Janet Currie is the Director of Focus Consultants, a policy analysis, research and evaluation firm in Victoria BC.  She also works as a consumer activist in the area of prescription drug and health product safety and effectiveness .  She runs, the only consumer-based non industry-funded website in Canada providing information on psychiatric drugs, and frequently provides advice to Health Canada on drug policy and post market surveillance.

Colleen Fuller is a health policy researcher and analyst for Canadian Doctors for Medicare. She is the co-founder and President of an independent advocacy group for Canadians who need natural animal insulin and has provided advice to Health Canada on policies related to diabetes. She is the author of Caring for Profit and a co-author of Push to Prescribe: Women and Canadian Drug Policy.

Carol Kushner is a writer and private consultant who has provided policy advice to health care organizations and governments here in Canada, in the United States and in Australia. She is the co-chair of Patients for Patient Safety Canada and a co-author (with Michael Rachlis) of two best-selling books on health care,  Second Opinion: What’s Wrong with Canada’s Health Care System and How to Fix It and Strong Medicine: How to Save Canada’s Health Care System.

Dr. Joel Lexchin is a professor, emergency physician and consultant on pharmaceutical issues for the province of Ontario, various arms of the Canadian federal government, the World Health Organization, the government of New Zealand and the Australian National Prescribing Service.

Dr. Barbara Mintzes is an epidemiologist who carries out systematic reviews of the effectiveness and safety of new medicines. She also investigates the effects of drug promotion on prescribing and medicine use.