In late 2018, we were contacted by the Yukon Party, whose members were interested in learning more about adverse drug reactions (ADRs), after constituents had spoken out about the impacts of having suffered from them. We were happy to inform and and engage with elected officials and policymakers about the impact of ADRs on our healthcare expenditures, the stress they create on our hospitals and health services, and how they severely damage and impact the lives of Canadian and their families.
This week, a Yukon Party Official Opposition motion, developed in conjunction with Adverse Drug Reaction Canada, calling on the Government of Canada to improve the reporting and mitigation of adverse drug reactions in Canada received unanimous support in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. The motion was tabled by Yukon Party MLA Scott Kent on April 18th, 2019.
Adverse Drug Reaction Canada will continue to provide all Canadians, elected officials and political parties who contact us with accurate and up-to-date information about the adverse drug reaction problem in Canada.
The motion 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:
- Expanding the definition of a prescribed health care institution either in the Food and Drugs Act or corresponding regulations; and
- 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.
“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
- 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.
- As currently designed the definition contained in the regulations and the legislation are not broad enough to capture all adverse drug reactions.