Ottawa keeps tabs as doctors sound alarm about cancer drug supply

A news report says hospitals in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are running short

Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, Monday June 17, 2019 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

The federal health minister’s office says it is keeping a close watch on the supply of three generic cancer drugs as doctors raise serious concerns about the risk of critical shortages across Canada.

The intravenous drugs in question are etoposide, vinorelbine and leucovorin.

Petitpas Taylor’s spokesperson Alexander Cohen says the government has facilitated the importation of an international supply of etoposide in the short term.

Cohen says companies are conserving existing supply for patients and the shortage for that particular drug is expected to be over by the end of September.

In the case of vinorelbine, he says the company Generic Medical Partners Inc. is putting in place a distribution plan to supply 75 per cent of demand for current orders by October and is also increasing production.

For leucovorin, Cohen says the federal government is working with companies on options to import an international supply as soon as possible.

“We’re closely monitoring the supply of each of the three cancer drugs, and have taken specific measures to ensure Canadians continue to have access to them,” he said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Canada eyeing implications of U.S. plan to allow imports of prescription drugs

CBC News reported on the weekend that hospitals in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been scrambling to find alternatives and make existing supplies of the drugs last as long as possible.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Second snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Another 20 cm of snow is expected to fall by early Friday

FVRD emergency plan only ‘partially meeting’ expectations, says auditor

Regional district says they are already working on shortfalls in emergency management

Princeton RCMP take care when burying sex mannequins found in Manning Park

Princeton RCMP recently learned how complicated it can be to dispose of… Continue reading

New hiking trail to be built overlooking Hope

Waterfalls, rocky outcrops featured in new trail near Silver Creek

Free Rein Associates about to embark on poverty reduction plan for Hope

Funding will come from new provincial initiative to reduce poverty across B.C.

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

BC Hydro offers tips as collisions with power poles increase

Region with the largest spike in collisions was the Lower Mainland at 16 per cent

Canadian airline passengers to be eligible for $1,000 in compensation for delayed flights

Passengers can also receive compensation for overbooking, lost luggage and other inconveniences

Second snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Another 20 cm of snow is expected to fall by early Friday

B.C. seniors need better vaccine protection, advocate says

Home support down, day programs up in annual rating

Burnaby man charged with sexual assault after multiple groping incidents

Jorge Benjamin Bernal, 29, is facing four counts of sexual assault

RCMP rescue wounded raven on Vancouver Island highway

Bird expected to make full recovery

Column: Giving at Christmastime can be as rewarding as receiving

‘It wouldn’t be Christmas without lists. Present lists, specifically.’

Be aware of ticks when chopping down Christmas trees

Potential for ticks to transfer to clothing

Most Read