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Drug Shortages

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In 2012, the Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta launched the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee on Drug Shortages to advance collaborative work on drug shortages. To address this important issue, the MSSC brings together representatives from industry and health care associations, group purchasing organizations, distributors, the federal, provincial and territorial governments. This multi-stakeholder approach is resulting in real progress in the communication and management of drug shortages. Please see the links below for three MSSC tools:

  • The MSSC Multi-Stakeholder Toolkit (Toolkit) describes the Canadian drug supply chain, clarifies roles and responsibilities of key players, and identifies the tools and strategies available to address drug shortages at specific stages of the supply chain. The Toolkit is a reference to support coordinated multi-stakeholder efforts to identify, mitigate, resolve and prevent drug shortages in Canada.
  • The MSSC Protocol for the Notification and Communication of Drug Shortages sets out clear expectations, principles and processes for how and when stakeholders across the supply chain share information in anticipation of or response to a drug shortage.
  • The Guidance Document to Mitigate Drug Shortages through Contracting and Procurement outlines best practice contracting guidelines, procurement strategies, and tools to address common drug supply chain shortage vulnerabilities. These guidelines, strategies, and tools can be applied by and negotiated between various supply chain stakeholders to better prevent and mitigate shortages.

Together with the earliest notification and information available on www.drugshortages.ca, these important tools will help strengthen Canada’s drug supply system and help all stakeholders better prevent and mitigate shortages.

The following information represents information supplied by pharmaceutical companies in Canada. This information will be updated as new information is known and available.

Users who are interested in receiving automatic notifications of new entries to the Canadian Drug Shortage Database may sign up here.

It is important to note that the information collected here represents a snapshot of drug shortages that are known to a Market Authorization Holder. This list will contain shortage information regarding medications that are licensed for use in Canada.

A pharmaceutical company who knows that they will experience important delays in supplying the Canadian market with an approved medicine to meet expected patient demand (i.e. normal prescription volumes) will report this as a 'drug shortage' on this website. A 'drug shortage' could be caused by

  • a problem with the maker of an active or key ingredient in a drug;
  • a manufacturing problem or issue;
  • safety issues identified at the place of manufacture (whether here or abroad);
  • an unexpected increase in demand for a specific drug;
  • regulatory delays in manufacturing site and/or health product approvals.

Delays in receiving prescribed medicines may be experienced in Canada that are not related to a manufacturer's ability to meet normal patient demand, but could be related to

  • unexpected increases in demand for specific drugs;
  • various interruptions in the normal delivery of medicines through the pharmacy supply chain and distribution network; or
  • factors outside the control of a company (e.g. natural disasters).

Members of the public who are experiencing an inability to receive the medication(s) that has/have been prescribed for them should talk to the health care professional who originally wrote their prescription (normally medical doctor, pharmacist, or nurse practitioner) or their pharmacist.

Drug Shortages Records

  RECORDS PER PAGE
Product Name Drug Name Company Name Start Date Last Modified
ZANTAC RANITIDINE (RANITIDINE HYDROCHLORIDE) GlaxoSmithKline Inc. December 31, 2016 February 5, 2016
IMITREX INJECTION 12MG/ML SUMATRIPTAN (SUMATRIPTAN SUCCINATE) GlaxoSmithKline Inc. January 7, 2016 February 5, 2016
CLINDOXYL ADV GEL BENZOYL PEROXIDE GlaxoSmithKline Inc. January 22, 2016 February 5, 2016
LEVOFLOXACIN IN 5% DEXTROSE INJECTION LEVOFLOXACIN Hospira Healthcare Corporation November 6, 2015 February 5, 2016
LMD 10% IN 0.9% SODIUM CHLORIDE DEXTRAN Hospira Healthcare Corporation February 13, 2014 February 5, 2016
ONDANSETRON INJECTION USP -(PRESERVATIVE FREE) ONDANSETRON (ONDANSETRON HYDROCHLORIDE DIHYDRATE) Sandoz Canada Inc. July 11, 2012 February 5, 2016
KETAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE INJECTION SDZ KETAMINE (KETAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE) Sandoz Canada Inc. December 23, 2015 February 5, 2016
GENTAMICIN INJECTION USP GENTAMICIN (GENTAMICIN SULFATE) Sandoz Canada Inc. May 1, 2014 February 5, 2016
TEVA-ALENDRONATE ALENDRONIC ACID (ALENDRONATE SODIUM) Teva Canada Limited February 4, 2016 February 4, 2016
RATIO-NYSTATIN NYSTATIN Teva Canada Limited September 17, 2015 February 4, 2016
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