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Catherine Callbeck

The Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck, B.Comm., B.Ed. Senator Catherine S. Callbeck was the first woman in Canada to be elected as Premier and was named as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2006. Appointed to the Senate on September 23, 1997, she represents the province of Prince Edward Island.

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Drug Shortages

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Statement made on 14 March 2012 by Senator Jane Cordy

Hon. Jane Cordy:

There is great concern among Canadians about the increasing number of drug shortages in Canada. Sandoz, the Canadian drug manufacturing company, was told by the U.S. FDA in July of 2009 that it had breached manufacturing standards regarding aseptic and contamination processes regarding crystallization in intravenous products. However, the minister who stated that the department inspects plants did not bother to follow up on this at the time. The fact that the minister says that she found out about the concerns and the possible shortage of drugs only in November of 2011 is frightening.

In 2010, the Canadian Pharmacists Association wrote a report warning of drug shortages. At that time, over 90 per cent of pharmacists said they were having trouble with drug shortages. More than a year ago, about 74 per cent of Canadian doctors said they were encountering shortages of generic drugs.

What did the minister do? She set up a voluntary system. Why? Why is this minister not showing any leadership? Why is this minister not standing up for Canadians?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

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