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

Vancouver Island group heading to Thailand to help refugees

Mill Bay Baptist Fellowship Church sponsoring family to come to Valley

Retro game hangout opening in Duncan

New hangout features 30 board games, seven different video game consoles, ping pong and foosball

Saanich resident pushes for colourful road murals, cites traffic-calming benefits

Road murals are the ‘nexus of placemaking and road safety,’ says the resident

Family-run corner store in Parksville closes after 42 years

This weekend marked the last day for Shopper’s Grocery Mart on Alberni Highway

PQBeat podcast: Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell

Listen: Latest installment covers politics, athletics and more

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Most Read