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CPSI Share                                                  
Public; Provider; Leader
8/20/2019 6:00 PM

Page Banner of Parlaiment Hill with text that reads Government Relations

On Monday August 12th, 2019 the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) together with Patients for Patient Safety Canada and health advocacy partners met with federal Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor to underscore concerns at the growing movement in the United States to pursue bulk importation of Canadian medications.

CPSI, like other stakeholders attending the meeting, is very concerned that bulk imports will lead to dire medication shortages in Canada, potentially putting patients in Canada at serious risk. Canada’s medication supply, which barely meets current Canadian needs, is certainly not sufficient to support both Canadian and U.S. patients.

CPSI has communicated to the Minister of Health that, based on estimated national requirements by manufacturers with global supply chains, the Canadian health system does not have the capacity to address the potential increased demand that could come from a direct supply relationship between Canada and U.S.  The medication supply simply does not, and will not, exist in Canada to meet such demands and will result in preventable harm to people across Canada and additional strain on health systems and providers.

At the outset of the meeting, Minister Petitpas Taylor stated the bulk importation file is her highest priority, but for this discussion, she stated she was in listening mode. She noted that it was critical to hear our perspective, and that the input from the group will inform Health Canada’s actions. Solutions to this problem are not easy, and a thorough blueprint is needed to prevent unintended consequences. In the coming weeks the Minister will be meeting with the U.S. FDA Commissioner, Mr. Norman Sharpless, to discuss Canada’s concerns.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Patients for Patient Safety Canada will participate in an upcoming technical briefing at Health Canada to discuss the government’s regulatory options. We will continue to encourage the government to listen to patients and consumers and to take bold steps to ensure Canada’s supply of medicines remains secure so that patient safety in Canada is not compromised.