Queen's University

Sandoz drug shortage is 'tip of the iceberg'

2012-04-04

Queen’s University School of Medicine professor Jackie Duffin is available to talk about fears of a shortage created by the production stoppage of Sandoz Canada, the country's largest manufacturer and supplier of generic, injectable drugs. The company halted production of many drugs for operational upgrades.

There was an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Monday over fears that Canadians will not have access to life-saving drugs. Dr. Duffin feels drug companies have an ethical duty to make sure Canadians have access to prescribed medications and the government should force companies to publically report shortages. Currently, some companies report shortages on a voluntary basis.

“This problem has been happening for two years and Sandoz is the tip of the iceberg. I’m very glad there was an emergency debate in the House of Commons last night on drug shortages but the government’s response was disappointing. I think the federal government needs to accept responsibility and start identifying the root causes of the drug shortage problems rather than blaming the provinces and one company, Sandoz,” says Dr. Duffin.

Dr. Duffin created a website (www.canadadrugshortage.com) to highlight the problem.

Please note Dr. Duffin is only available for phone interviews, on Tuesday March 13. She is available for TV interviews on Wednesday and during the rest of the week as her schedule permits.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, cell:613-329-9104, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office:613-533-2877, cell:613-484-3979, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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