Conference examines threats and solutions to Canadian prescription drug shortage
Royal College hosts lecture at International Conference on Residency Education
OTTAWA, Oct. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Doctors and medical educators will examine the deepening shortage of prescription drugs in Canada when they convene for the 2012 International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE) from October 18-20.
More than 1,000 experts will attend the annual ICRE hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The theme of this year's conference is Milestones in Residency Education: Competencies, Controversies and Challenges.
"Pharmaceutical drugs are essential for patient care, comfort and cures. Our patients depend on the uninterrupted supply of medications," says Dr. Andrew Padmos, CEO of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. "It is critical for doctors and medical educators to understand the factors contributing to these drug shortages; and how to prepare for a better system in the future."
The Royal College cites a number of risks the drug shortage is placing on Canada's health care system:
- Patients are at risk and quality of care may be affected due to interruptions in supply (example: the scarcity of anesthesia drugs is particularly acute).
- Physicians must find alternative and possibly inadequate solutions, resulting in higher risks of patients experiencing side effects or complications.
- Shortages in Canada are listed through a patchwork of drug databases. There is no pan-Canadian system to monitor inventories, and there is a lack of a coordinated response in forecasting the availability of drug supplies.
A subject gaining in profile with Canadians due to wide media coverage in the last couple of years, discussion on Canada's prescription drug shortage will be led by Dr. Jacalyn Duffin, the Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, a practicing hemotologist, historian and author of eight books, and founder of the website www.canadadrugshortage.com.
"The causes of the generic drug shortages are poorly understood; consequently, solutions are elusive," says Dr. Duffin. "The problem is global and I look forward to hearing the perspectives of participants from Canada and around the world. We cannot begin to solve it if we do not work to identify the causes. The time to act is now."
ICRE 2012 will also facilitate discussions by world-class experts on a range of other timely issues, including competency-based training, resident duty hours, and the growing use of social media in medical education.
About ICRE and the Royal College
ICRE is the largest conference in the world devoted exclusively to residency education. This year, the conference will take place in Ottawa at the Ottawa Convention Centre from October 18 to 20, 2012. ICRE is hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canada's home for specialty medicine. With more than 42,000 members in 87 countries, the Royal College contributes to improving the health of Canadians by setting the highest standards for specialty medical education and is a trusted partner in advancing sound health and public policy.
SOURCE: ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF CANADAFor further information: