Canada’s Pharmaceutical Industry Comes Together To Address Drug Shortages

OTTAWA and TORONTO, March 12, 2012 — Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) and the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) today announced their commitment and financial support in responding urgently to prescription drug shortages.

Jim Keon, President of CGPA, said, “Our members understand the anxiety and frustration that drug shortages cause Canadian patients, their families and healthcare professionals. We are pleased to work with our industry partners on this initiative to provide timely information to Canadian patients and health-care providers.”

Russell Williams, President of Rx&D, said, “I am proud that the entire Canadian pharmaceutical industry is stepping up. This partnership will help ensure that Canadians and their healthcare professionals have access to the latest data on product availability, in real-time, online at all times. Our commitment is to provide accurate and timely information on all aspects of the pharmaceutical supply chain.”

Drug shortages happen in every country for a variety of reasons: unprecedented demand, unpredictable shutdowns of production facilities and bottlenecks in the supply chain. The industry understands the hardship that even a delay of a few days can cause. Representatives of all the major firms in the sector have therefore worked with government to develop a plan to help Canadians deal with drug shortages.

The industry initiative sees both associations committing up to $100,000 each to address both immediate and longer-term requirements to ensure that Canadians have the pharmaceutical treatments available when they need them. The plan will:

  • Permit real-time inventory tracking available publicly on one bilingual website
  • Develop a system to report anticipated shortages
  • Recommend solutions when medications are not available

The work to track on a real-time basis the availability of certain crucial pharmaceutical products has already been ramped up to include public access to websites with detailed inventory data.

Systems are being developed to predict shortages in the pharmaceutical supply chains before they occur.

Rx&D and CGPA have committed to working closely with governments to implement these tracking, predictive and solution mechanisms on an urgent basis.

Currently there are four websites reporting current and anticipated drug shortage information in Canada:

For further information please contact:

Jeff Connell
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
(416) 223-2333
Shannon MacDonald
Vice President, Public Affairs & Partnerships
(613) 236-0455 ext. 671