A Canadian academic has claimed that the consequences of the ongoing drug shortages in Canada could be more serious than anticipated. Haematologist and medical historian Dr Jacalyn Duffin, who is studying this issue, has said that previous estimates of the impact might not been realistic.
In dealing with this shortage, some patients are being prescribed alternative medicines. Duffin says that some of these patients are experiencing lower efficacy and others increased side-effects as a result. Duffin also indicates that some patients have ended up in hospital, or may have even died due to the side-effects of the alternative medicines.
It is still unclear what the root of the shortage is, however, it is reported that likely factors could be linked to manufacturing, marketing and distribution.
Duffin’s view is backed-up by Canadian family physician Dr Iris Gorfinkel:
“It resonates very deeply because as a family doctor it’s my job to make sure the patients get the drugs they need,” “I have to kind of brainstorm with them to say, ‘OK what substitutions are there, if any, for the missing drugs.”
Health Canada continues to explain that they are aware of the issue and are working to find solutions.