Off-label prescribing, although legal for physicians in Canada, is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote and fines have been ineffective in preventing this practice. Many off-label prescriptions are for conditions difficult to test for, are aimed at women or children and can have serious adverse effects. Drug companies should be required to collect systematic scientific data on these drugs and medical products and seek market authorization for these uses.
The number of individuals living with the sexual side-effects of polypharmacy without informed consent has skyrocketed in recent years. Many seem stunned at suffering from an iatrogenic disorder; that is, a disorder caused by medical, drug or surgical treatment. The side-effects are well established yet not communicated to patients.
There needs to be more transparency in clinical drug trials including the value of the drugs from the viewpoint of patient benefit, reasons for terminating early, outsourcing to developing countries and a focus on efficacy rather than economics.
Health Canada has been less progressive in moving towards transparency in why drugs are not approved than in other international jurisdictions. This exposes patients to significant risks because physicians are unaware of all the relevant safety and efficacy information and hampers the development of better or different clinical trials and innovative research.
The recent report from the Auditor General just reinforces the knowledge that Health Canada is seriously deficient in its ability to ensure the safety of prescription medications. The problems start […]