OTTAWA, March 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Faced with critical prescription drug shortages in Canada, and no sign of national leadership in Thursday's federal budget, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has proposed an aggressive pathway to solutions to prevent future drug shortages in Canada.
In a letter sent today to health ministers across Canada and the Parliamentary Committee on Health, President Louis Hugo Francescutti, MD, PhD, FRCPC, and CEO Andrew Padmos, MD, FRCPC, suggest a multi-faceted approach to ensure that a strategic supply of essential drugs is available to prevent interruptions of timely delivery of care. The proposed changes would also provide governments and stakeholders with knowledge of drug inventories and manufacturing capacities in Canada.
"Drug shortages require national leadership, not a hands-off approach," says Dr. Francescutti. "It is incumbent on all levels of government to work together to ensure that patients are not harmed from a defective drug or a shortage of critical ones and that quality of care is not compromised."
Under the Royal College's proposed plan, governments and stakeholders would work to establish a strategic supply of key medications, create a comprehensive list of domestic and international drug sources of approved medications and improve the lines of communications with all stakeholders in hospital settings by investing in trained staff to deal with shortages.
Long-term, the governments must also work together to establish a pan-Canadian drug monitoring system that creates one centralized database and requires manufacturers to report inventories and manufacturing capacities. Legislation and policies that encourage innovation, collaboration and transparency would also help mitigate future shortages.
"We urge health ministers to work collaboratively with their counterparts in other jurisdictions and consider the proposed solutions," says Dr. Padmos. "The Royal College will be looking to work with its Fellows and the broader health care community to bring this issue to a resolution and prevent it from happening again."
|We invite you to read our detailed report that examines the issues, causes and possible solutions to Canada's drug shortage.|
As a national, non-profit organization, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada speaks for more than 44,000 medical and surgical specialists and resident physicians. The Royal College oversees the medical education of specialists and, as such, advocates for the best health and the best care for all Canadians.
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