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.
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.
Low profit margins combined with poor oversight by Health Canada has lead to a shortage of essential generic drugs in Canada. All it took to turn a simmering problem into a raging fire was…a fire.
Michael McBane cites ten examples of terms used by Health Canada to deceive the public into thinking that changes that weaken health protection are somehow going to strengthen safety.
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 […]