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Improving Access to Drugs in Canada - Consultation by Health Canada

As of June 5, 2023, Health Canada is seeking input from a variety of stakeholders on how Canada can improve access to drugs and other health care products.[1]

For a number of years, Canadians have experienced an increase in the number of critical drug shortages and other essential care items, such as pediatric analgesics and infant formula. To address this issue, Health Canada created a Drug Shortages Task Force in November of 2022. The Task Force has already engaged with provincial and territorial governments, industry stakeholders, healthcare system partners, patient groups and academia on solutions. Now the task force is opening the floor to a wider variety of stakeholders, including: 

  • people living in Canada

  • Indigenous Nations and communities

  • health products industry

  • health care providers

  • patient advocates

  • governments and regulatory partners

  • academics and researchers

The discussion questions identify four key areas for improvement, such as:

  • improved communication and transparency on shortages as between all levels of government, health care providers, manufacturers and others;

  • ensuring an agile regulatory toolbox that can keep pace with and address critical shortages;

  • developing greater supply chain visibility, such as access to information on products, licence holders, patient needs, and supply and demand; and 

  • enhancing the response to supply and demand, including ramping up domestic production, catching up on delayed manufacturing after a plant failure or sourcing foreign-authorized products. 

The Consultation Guide, linked below,[2] provides detailed information on these key topics, and identifies questions of interest. 

The consultation will close on August 4, 2023. Submissions can be sent by email to [email protected]

If you have any questions, or would like assistance with a submission, please send Fiona Legere or Bohdana Tkachuk an email and we would be happy to help




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