Sunday, September 28, 2014

Health Canada's Willful Impotence on Tainted Pharmaceuticals

As I have written previously, the scandal of tainted pharmaceuticals continues, and that which should provoke outrage and demands for accountability seems to elicit for the most part only shrugs and mild interest. And were it not for the Toronto Star's ongoing quest, most of us would be totally unaware of the threats to our health that are aided and abetted by Health Canada and Health Minister Rona Ambrose, thanks to a larger media, including the CBC, that have given the scandal absolutely no coverage.

Despite the investigative series conducted by the paper and an excoriating editorial, the only action thus far taken by Health Minister Rona Ambrose and her recalcitrant department has been to 'convince' (not order) Apotex to
stop distribution to Canadian retailers of what Health Minister Rona Ambrose described as “all products” manufactured at one of Apotex’s factories in Bangalore, India.

“The quarantine will allow the department time to verify that products from this facility meet Canadian safety and quality requirements,” Health Canada said in a short release.
I guess that is progress of sorts, since the last time Health Canada made such a request, Apotex refused. However, it is an anemic response given that when the issue first arose, the FDA banned the suspect drugs from entering the U.S.

However, even in Health Canada's putative victory with Apotex, there is less here than meets the eye, as is typical of the Harper regime:
Health Canada has not told the public what drugs are affected by this quarantine.
So even though many Canadians will have been taking these suspect and tainted drugs, they are not permitted to know which ones they are. Undoubtedly, as has been previously discussed, in the warped of Ambrose and her department, that information is considered commercially confidential.

In my next post, I'll discuss a possible way around the protective wall of silence erected by Health Canada to protect the pharmaceutical industry.

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