October 18


What Health Canada is doing to ease drug shortages

Pharmaceutical markets in the most developed countries of the world have recently been increasingly affected by drug shortages. We are talking not only about the shortage of antiseptics, hydroxychloroquine, and paracetamol associated with the coronavirus pandemic but also about the systematic lack of vital drugs in hospitals and pharmacies. Moreover, you, for example, want to buy victoza online but it’s not possible to do that everywhere anymore. Why is this so?


In the pharmaceutical market in Canada, shortages of life-saving drugs remain a persistent problem. According to estimates by the Institute for Safety of Medicines (ISMP), it occurs most often in emergency departments. Physicians are also short of drugs used in anesthesiology, pain management, and cardiovascular disease. Of course, we are not talking about all drugs. Most of the shortages concern inexpensive generics, such as local anesthetics, antibiotics, saline solutions, etc.

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Defining a Drug Shortage


A shortage of production means when demand exceeds supply. Even more so, the volumes that are supplied to the market do not even reach the minimum required standards. Lack of life-saving drugs forces doctors to cancel prescribed therapy or prescribe second-line drugs, which adversely affects the results of treatment. There are numerous causes of drug shortages. Most of the shortages were caused by problems resulting from noncompliance with the current quality standards of their production.


This is especially true for drugs that are produced by a small number of companies – stopping production at some of them can lead to shortages. Health Canada cites a significant increase in industrial production over a short period, without a corresponding expansion of production capacity, as the reason for the shortage of medicines. Although some manufacturers are now increasing their capacity, much of it will not be operational for several years yet.

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Addressing drug shortages in Canada


A recent national government report decided that such a situation should be addressed at the national level. All interested parties, more so government agencies, should take an active part in developing a plan to resolve the crisis. New regulations must necessarily be developed, which will make sure that the market for drugs and medicines will only develop, and go forward without any restrictions.


The movement should also be organized in cooperation with businesses. Businesses can also help make it easier for people to get or order medicines. As far as the practice of recent years shows, even neighboring countries buy products in Canada, which indicates a more loyal attitude towards the industry. But still, the lack of medicines can break such a contrast.

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Role of Business in the Fight Against Drug Shortages


Business always tries to go hand in hand with the country’s leadership. This is because it is the government and the internal bodies that develop and implement the laws and standards that are enforced within the state. In this case, it is very important to work together to suggest and guide in the right direction. This is why people from the business world of pharmacy are constantly developing their guides to share with those who need them.


It should also be noted that many business projects are already moving to the online form. That is, for example, pharmacies can now, for the most part, be found online even without physical branches. This is modern and convenient. Companies like Canada Pharmacy are trying to provide the best possible customer service so that people will come back again. The company comes up with different promotions and bonus offers to please its visitors with pleasant prices, fast service, and delivery of goods.

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Is It Possible to Solve the Shortage Issue in Canada?


Now Health Canada will try to improve the situation – the agency intends to change the procedure for public procurement of essential medicines. In addition to the initial maximum price of the contract, the Ministry will require the customer to set the initial price per unit. However, it is not only the low maximum price, but also the lack of necessary volumes from suppliers. Many customers do not ask potential suppliers for possible volumes.


Such a problem is quite realistic to curb in order to reduce global and regional shortages in general. It all depends on the overall and coordinated work of all the components of the chain. From producers to governments must stipulate all the nuances that affect the formation of the market in one way or another. At the same time, we must root out corruption and fraud, which also severely affected the market for pharmaceutical products.

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Bottom Line


To summarize, it should be noted that today in Canada, as in many countries around the world, there is a problem with drug shortages. Such events occurred due to several factors. In general, if we talk about this region, the issue is not as widespread as, for example, in the United States, where, in addition to the fact that there is no production, there are also wild prices, which force residents to seek options abroad, for example, in the local market.


Health Canada is working hard to help people and save the country from such problems. It’s very real, but it’s not just their structures that are involved, but many others, even international ones. Everyone involved in such a process has to work in concert to defeat the world’s drug shortage. Let’s believe in a better and brighter future that Canada is trying to build today. The medical field can sleep peacefully.

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