Canadian health ministry is given new powers to tighten drug safety

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 24 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4231
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

Canada’s House of Commons has granted the health ministry sweeping new powers to remove drugs from the market and punish manufacturers who sell dangerous drugs or withhold information on adverse effects.

Until now, the Canadian government has relied on voluntary agreements with manufacturers to remove dangerous medicines from the market, a system that broke down most notoriously in 1962 when a special act of parliament was needed to remove thalidomide from the Canadian market long after the US Food and Drug Administration had refused approval and European nations had banned the drug. …

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