Health Canada should improve the timeliness of safety assessments and the implementation of related recommendations to update labels and to issue risk communications, so Canadians and health care professionals can be informed of new drug safety information in a timely manner. Health Canada should disclose information related to new drug approvals in a timely manner and improve the transparency of approvals with conditions,” rejections, and withdrawals of new drugs so that Canadians and health care professionals can access information about these drugs.
We examined several of Health Canada's commitments to increase the transparency of review decisions and the amount of information it makes available to Canadians about approved drugs. Canadians rely on Health Canada to approve drugs of demonstrated safety, quality, and efficacy and to work with the pharmaceutical industry to disseminate safety and usage information that is accurate and up to date. Enabling timely access to safe and effective drugs, and ensuring that these products remain safe and effective, is critical to improving and maintaining the health of Canadians.
Each day, Canadians and their health care providers use pharmaceutical drugs (herein referred to as drugs) that have been approved by Health Canada to treat or prevent an array of diseases and disabling physical conditions. Canada's health-inspection regime is designed to ensure the safety of medications for Canadians, not for other countries. Pfizer Canada strives to profoundly impact the health of Canadians through the discovery, development and delivery of medicines, vaccines and consumer health products.
However, if it is enacted and Canadian wholesalers and pharmacies attempt to supply even a small number of Americans who are currently unable to pay for their drugs, shortages would increase in Canada and cause substantial distress to Canadians. Pharmacists are regarded as the medication management experts of the health care team and collaborate with patients, their families and other health care providers to benefit the health of Canadians. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services and wireless mobile products and services.
Most Canadians trust pharmacists to provide advice on medicines (96%), management of common ailments (93%), healthy lifestyle changes (90%), management of chronic health conditions (90%), and vaccinations (87%). More Canadians are saying pharmacists are playing an essential role in our health care system than ever before. 84% of Canadians agree that allowing pharmacists to do more for patients will both improve health outcomes and 85% agree that expanded scope will reduce health care costs.
According to a new national survey by Abacus Data, conducted to coincide with Pharmacist Awareness Month, Canadians agree by a strong majority (89%) that health care services provided in a hospital or at a doctor's office and covered by provincial health plans should also be covered when delivered by a pharmacist. In provinces like Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia, people living with arthritis are receiving poorer care than many other Canadians due to very restrictive reimbursement coverage for medications.