Statement from the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) Regarding Shortages of Prescription Medicines

Toronto, May, 2011The following is a statement by Jim Keon, President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), regarding media reports of prescription drug shortages in Canada:

“The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) is working with its member companies and other key stakeholders to respond to shortages of prescription drugs in Canada.

Shortages of prescription drugs have been reported in Canada, the United States and other international markets. Disruptions in the supply chain for generic and brand-name prescription pharmaceutical products can occur and may be caused by a number of issues, including:

  • World-wide shortages of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) required to produce the products
  • Changes to regulatory standards and requirements
  • Production issues/problems for one or more manufacturers
  • Changes in production equipment/processes

The CGPA is engaging in a multi-stakeholder working group including manufacturers, pharmacists, prescribers and wholesalers with the goal of identifying solutions to alleviate the shortages as well as assisting patients, health-care professionals and regulators in dealing with current shortages.

In addition, generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in Canada have reported to CGPA that they are taking the following steps to improve the supply of generic pharmaceuticals in Canada:

  • Increasing production and focussing manufacturing capacity of Canadian facilities on products for the Canadian market.
  • Identifying and prioritizing production based on criteria such as market demand and availability of alternative treatments.
  • Allocating additional resources to quality control assurance operations to ensure continued compliance with the rigorous standards of Health Canada (HC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Expansion of current manufacturing facilities and new construction to meet future demand.

For more information, please contact:
Jeff Connell
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
Tel: (416) 223-2333
Mobile: (647) 274-3379