Pharmacy in Canada
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Drug Shortages

For the past several years, drug shortages have become an increasingly serious concern in the Canadian health care system. Pharmacists are at the front lines in terms of addressing and mitigating drug shortages so that patients can continue to receive quality care.

Since 2010, CPhA has taken a leadership role to try and address drug shortages in Canada. Our efforts, both individually and in collaboration with stakeholders, have led to the following outcomes:

  • Creation of a national drug shortages online reporting system at
  • Creation of a “Drug Shortage Response Protocol” by federal/provincial stakeholder committee (see Drug Shortages Multi-Stakeholder Toolkit below)
  • More wholesalers/end-users are now requiring multi-sourced product
  • House of Commons motion and Parliamentary Committee report in June 2012 called for a series of recommendations (see below)
  • Expansion in scope of practice for pharmacists across jurisdictions to better equip them to deal with shortages
  • Industry is investing to increase manufacturing capacity
  • International conference held in Toronto (June 2013)

In addition, the following resources and documents related to drug shortages are available: