Drug shortages ‘the new normal,’ and hard to fix

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  • Philip Hébert says:

    Drug shortages are fuelled in part by Pharma’s interest in profits. Why, eg, are generic amantadine cap’s, widely available elsewhere, no longer available in Canada? — meanwhile the long acting formulation (Gocivri) with the nice new price of $10-30k per yr has been approved by the FDA…. and soon to be available in Canada

  • Cynthia says:

    Thank you for writing up this post on drug shortage and how it is the new normal. I completely agree. It used to be a one-off situation but has become a common scenario for many medications – some of which are considered essential medicines. I fear this is how pharma companies have more control of the prescribing patterns in Canada. If it is not available or consistently available, many physicians may choose to select a more reliable and sometimes more expensive alternative.
    As we move forward with the national pharmacare program, we must first tackle with the current challenges of drug shortage. We can’t afford to say we will pay for drug x because it is cost effective, only to find out from the manufacturer that drug x is in drug shortage. In the end, consumers and patients suffer.

  • Denis Morrice says:

    …to raise prices on generic drugs to give manufacturers enough profit margin – Help: what is “enough”

  • Aurelia Cotta says:

    The other alternative is to temporarily buy a drug from the United States, or the UK, or EU. All first world nations who all use the same manufacturing standards. (yes, they are all just as good–everyone in every industry and country likes to think “their” standards are highest, but it’s a ridiculous argument.)

    Oddly, shortages do not all happen with the same drugs in the same places at the same time. So—trade off. Maybe it’s because I grew up on the border, but if cross border drug shopping saves lives—do it!


Vanessa Milne


Vanessa is a freelance health journalist and a form staff writer with Healthy Debate

Joshua Tepper


Joshua Tepper is a family physician and the President and Chief Executive Officer of North York General Hospital. He is also a member of the Healthy Debate editorial board.

Francine Buchanan


Francine Buchanan is a mom and primary caregiver to an amazing little boy who is thriving with complex medical needs. When she isn’t watching or playing baseball with her family, she is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto studying physician/patient communication.

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