WHITEHORSE – On April 18, 2019, the Official Opposition tabled a motion in the Yukon Legislative Assembly to call on the Government of Canada to improve the reporting and mitigation of adverse drug reactions in Canada.
In 2014, the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act was passed and assented to by the Government of Canada. The Act is also known as Vanessa's Law in honour of Vanessa Young who tragically passed away due to an adverse drug reaction. Vanessa's Law included amendments to the Food and Drugs Act to strengthen the rules surrounding pharmaceuticals and the reporting of adverse reactions. This information is intended to improve Health Canada’s ability to continuously track and monitor the safety of pharmaceuticals on the market to better protect Canadians.
However, as currently designed the definition contained in the regulations and the legislation are not broad enough to capture all adverse drug reactions. For that reason the Official Opposition brought forward a motion to call on the Government of Canada to better protect Canadians by expanding these definitions.
The motion will be called for debate on April 24, 2019.
“In recent years, Canada has made huge strides in improving drug safety in our country. However, we need to do more to reduce and mitigate adverse drug reactions while ensuring Yukoners take prescription drugs more safely. Expanding the legislation to improve the rules and reporting around adverse drug reactions could save lives and that is why we have brought forward this important initiative.”
Yukon Party Official Opposition House Leader.
“Adverse drug reactions kill 10,000 to 22,000 Canadians each year, making them anywhere between the third and fifth leading cause of death in our country, and cost the Canadian health care system billions each year. This is unacceptable. We are witnessing countries around the world make incredible advances to reduce the number of deaths from adverse drug reactions each year. Canada needs to take further action to make drugs safer for Canadians. Mandatory reporting of all adverse drug reactions would be a step in this direction.”
Founder and President of Adverse Drug Reaction Canada.
The motion as tabled reads:
THAT this House urges the Government of Canada to fulfill the spirit and intent of the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (Vanessa’s Law) by working with health care practitioners and administrators to improve reporting and mitigation of adverse drug reactions, which are Canada’s 4th leading cause of death by:
1) Expanding the definition of a prescribed health care institution either in the Food and Drugs Act or corresponding regulations; and
2) Expanding the definition of a serious adverse drug reaction either in the Food and Drugs Act or corresponding regulations to include all adverse drug reactions.
Official Opposition Communications
Founder and President of Adverse Drug Reaction Canada