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e-2379 (Business and trade)

E-petition
Initiated by Jocelyn Démétré from Gatineau (Hull), Quebec

Original language of petition: French

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
    We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to introduce a bill to protect us from the bulk purchasing of Canadian drugs and prevent these drugs from leaving our country in massive amounts, which could lead to drugs being in short supply or even on back order.

    Response by the Minister of Health

    Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Darren Fisher

    We must ensure that Canadians have access to the medications they need. As such, we are protecting the health and safety of Canadians and the Canadian drug supply.

     

    Drug shortages are a global problem that can occur for many reasons, including manufacturing disruptions, increased demand for certain drugs, and companies stopping production of certain drugs. To help Canada's health care system better respond to potential shortages and to ensure greater transparency for Canadians, reporting of drug shortages by manufacturers became mandatory in March 2017. The list can be accessed online at https://www.drugshortagescanada.ca/.

     

    We know Canadians are concerned about drug shortages. We understand the uncertainty and pressure that a drug shortage can place on both patients and our health care system.  We have placed a high priority on ensuring access to medicines for Canadians, particularly by taking action with manufacturers, provinces, territories and other stakeholders. The Government regularly consults with stakeholders, including pharmacists, patient groups, medical associations, industry, and experts to understand the potential impacts on the Canadian pharmaceutical market and health care system of issues, such as the bulk purchasing of Canadian prescription drugs.

     

    On December 23, 2019, the United States proposed a regulation to allow the bulk importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada. We will oppose any action from abroad that could cause shortages in Canada or threaten Canadians' access to medicines, as outlined in our formal response to the proposed rule (https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2019-N-5711-1208). In our response, Canada emphasized that implementation of the proposed rule could exacerbate drug shortages in Canada, putting the health of Canadians at risk. We also noted that the proposed rule would not provide an effective solution to the problem of high drug prices in the U.S., as Canada’s drug market is too small to meet American consumer demand for prescription drugs or have an impact on high drug prices.

     

    The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Canadians have access to the safe and affordable drugs they need. We will continue to monitor the progress of the U.S. proposal and will employ all necessary measures to safeguard our drug supply and preserve access to needed drugs for Canadians.

     

    Open for signature
    January 23, 2020, at 2:39 p.m. (EDT)
    Closed for signature
    February 22, 2020, at 2:39 p.m. (EDT)
    Presented to the House of Commons
    Greg Fergus (Hull—Aylmer)
    May 14, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00192)
    Government response tabled
    July 20, 2020
    Photo - Greg Fergus
    Hull—Aylmer
    Liberal Caucus
    Quebec
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