Ottawa, March 18, 2020—As Canada responds to the global COVID-19 pandemic, some Canadians have expressed concern that they may not have access to the medicines they need, when they need them.
Based on the information we have received from our membership, which includes the majority of Canada’s research-based pharmaceutical companies, there are no COVID-19 related shortages being reported, or current constraints on their ability to supply medicines to Canadians.
While Health Canada is advising Canadians to fill their prescriptions so that they do not have to visit a busy pharmacy if they become sick, Canadians are also encouraged not to stockpile medications in large quantities. This could lead to unintended drug shortages and put other patients at risk.
Innovative Medicines Canada’s (IMC) member companies are required under the Food and Drug Regulations to report drug shortages as they occur.
If a pharmaceutical company anticipates that it will experience delays in supplying the Canadian market with an approved medicine to meet expected patient demand (i.e. normal prescription volumes), the company will report this as a drug shortage to Health Canada and it will be posted on the Canadian Drug Shortage website, drugshortages.ca.
IMC remains committed to working with provincial and federal governments to ensure that all Canadians continue to have access to medications during this challenging time.
About Innovative Medicines Canada
Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members’ commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.
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For further information:
Director, Media and Public Relations