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Friday, December 02, 2011

Health Canada Under Scrutiny



Health Canada, the Canadian medicine's regulator are to be examined and reported on with regard to prescription pharmaceuticals in Canada.

In a recent motion the Honourable Senator Ogilvie moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Frum that the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology be authorized to examine and report on prescription pharmaceuticals in Canada, including but not limited to:

(a) the process to approve prescription pharmaceuticals with a particular focus on clinical trials; 

(b) the post-approval monitoring of prescription pharmaceuticals;

(c) the off-label use of prescription pharmaceuticals; and

(d) the nature of unintended consequences in the use of prescription pharmaceuticals.

The committee are to submit its final report no later than December 31, 2013, whereupon it is hoped that by March 31, 2014 all findings will be made public.

I'm always weary of "investigations" into the way pharma does it's business through agents, end of the day Health Canada are merely batting for the same side as the pharmaceutical industry, I see no implementations of the 16 recommendations made at the Sara Carlin inquest almost a year and a half ago.

What's needed from this investigation is not the bog-standard recommendations, Health Canada will more than likely ignore them anyway. What is needed is for Health Canada to be more transparent, to open it's doors to the parents that have lost children to the very same drugs they were supposed to regulate.

I don't really care much for medicine regulators, it's apparent to me since I have been writing this blog that they are about as useful as chocolate teapot. Some will argue that we need them in place to protect us from harmful drugs, experience tells me that they do everything but that.

Regulators do not regulate, they merely pass the buck, they are pretty powerless and exist, it appears, to protect the purse strings of the pharmaceutical industry.

I hope the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology can bring about some changes with implementations and not recommendations.

The motion can be viewed HERE





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