The Health Council of Canada recently released a report warning consumers that drugs approved for use by Health Canada are not necessarily safe. The problems, warns Health council CEO John Abbott, typically surface after the drugs have already been widely prescribed. The report concludes that there is not enough monitoring of drugs after there are released into the market.
Canada’s Food and Drugs Act relies on pharmaceutical companies to pass on adverse reaction reports that are submitted by patients, although patients can also submit reports directly to Health Canada. Either way, this leaves the task of monitoring problems up to outside parties.
Health Canada must be vested with the authority to mandate pharmaceutical companies to conduct more post-market monitoring and to share the results, said Mr. Abbott. The Council has also suggested mandatory penalties for companies that don’t comply to this.
Mark Ferdinand, VP of Police Research and Analysis for RX&D, says that such reforms are welcome, although there is already rigorous post-marketing reporting system.
Health Canada, on the other hand, is already in the process of modernizing post-market monitoring regulations. It has also established a Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network, which will analyse the safety of drugs in the market