Ontario Strengthening Hospital Drug Supply
New Ontario Government Improves Oversight and Safety of Drugs Purchased by Hospitals
Ontario is protecting patients by strengthening the oversight and safety of drugs that are purchased or obtained by hospitals, including chemotherapy drugs.
The new Ontario government is fulfilling its commitment to improve provincial oversight and safety with respect to the province's drug supply system by enacting regulations, effective today, that will:
- Ensure hospitals purchase drugs only from accredited, licensed or otherwise approved suppliers
- Give the Ontario College of Pharmacists the responsibility to inspect drug preparation premises where pharmacists and pharmacy technicians practice
These actions complement the steps taken by Health Canada to clarify oversight responsibility with respect to drug preparation, and add to the actions already taken by the Ontario government to safeguard the drug supply in the province.
- The regulation changes were prompted by the discovery in late March of under-dosing of chemotherapy drugs supplied by an independent company to four hospitals in Ontario and one hospital in New Brunswick.
- On April 9, the government appointed Dr. Jake Thiessen to lead an independent review to determine how this occurred and provide recommendations to prevent future incidents, in addition to the steps the province is already taking.
“As promised, our government is taking immediate action to ensure the safety of drugs being provided to patients in Ontario hospitals by having the proper regulations in place. Along with Health Canada’s commitment to clarify responsibility for oversight of drug preparation, hospital patients can have confidence the drugs given to them are being produced under rigorous oversight.”
“Stronger oversight of drug preparation will safeguard patient care. Pharmacists will now be required to notify the College when they work in drug preparation premises and the College will be able to inspect these premises. This will enhance public protection and provide reassurance to patients that they are receiving drugs that meet standards set by the College.”