Pharmaceutical: The Last Six Months
Of Federal Activity

About

This Report

This is a computer-generated report that shows all of the federal activity with respect to the keyword "Pharmaceutical" over the last six months. This is a demonstration of the power of our government relations automation software.

Hansard

House: 28 Speeches
Senate: 6 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 2

See Bills

Regulations

Filed: 2
Proposed: 0

Regulations

The House

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... use in electric vehicles, and employing more Canadians than any other key sectors like forestry or pharmaceuticals.

The clean technology industry in Canada employs about 55,000 people, includin...”

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...the rise and public health services and hospitals unable to function because of a lack of essential pharmaceuticals, I will return to the motion I bring to the House today, Motion No. 128. Let me remi...”

Hon. Steven Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...board of directors of National GreenBioMed, and Larry Campbell, a Liberal senator, is head of Vodis Pharmaceuticals. These two companies are waiting for a Health Canada licence to produce cannabis. On...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...se crisis.

However, now we learn that one of the members of that panel was a paid adviser for pharmaceutical companies, including Purdue, a major opioid producer.

Given the record of misre...”

Mr. John Oliver (Oakville, Lib.)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ians are paying too much for prescription drugs. We have the second highest per capita spending for pharmaceuticals in the OECD.

The government took quick action last year by joining the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance to leverage better prices with the collective buying power of the provinces ...”

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Health, Lib.)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...We are investing money in treatment. We are scaling up access to all ranges of treatment, including pharmaceutical grade diacetylmorphine. We are making sure we are expanding harm reduction sites, inc...”

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Health, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... by the Senate would require that clients of supervised consumption sites be offered an alternative pharmaceutical therapy before they consumed substances at the site. While the intention of this amendment may be to encourage the provision of evidence-based treatment options to people who use drugs, it is critical that the application process for supervised consumption sites not be hindered by additional federal requirements for immediate access to treatment services. This could impose an additional burden and make it more difficult to establish and operate supervised consumption sites.

As written, this amendment could result in charter challenges on the grounds that an individual's safety and security could be jeopardized if that person could no longer access the services offered at a supervised consumption site. It also represents significant jurisdictional issues, since it could be construed as regulating a health service or clinical practice.

In addition, repeated offers of pharmaceutical treatment could actually discourage people who are not yet ready to begin treatment f...”

Hon. Jane Philpott

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the member knows, by the unfortunate reality of the over-prescription of opioids based on deceptive pharmaceutical practices. This is an area we are working on as well with a number of medical educators and regulatory bodies.

What has made this crisis unprecedented are these new highly potent products. It affecting not just Canada but North America, and now we are seeing it even further around the world.

I am happy to tell the member about a number of initiatives. As I said, we are working with 42 organizations across the country, regulators and educators of health professionals, to make sure we understand the work that needs to be done to address over-prescription. We are, of course, also working with organizations across the country to expand access to treatment. I alluded in my notes to the fact that we have taken steps to allow products to come into the country. For example, there is the possibility of using pharmaceutical-grade diacetylmorphine as a treatment option, and we are encouraging multiple approac...”

Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...The third amendment directs those working at the site to offer the person using the site some legal pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes or injects illegal drugs.

It is disappointing that the minister is flatly refusing to accept the amendments from the Senate. I believe that many Canadians would feel that those amendments are fair, substantive, and reasonable. The Senate does not amend legislation from this House very often. The Senate takes very seriously any amendments that it would recommend to the House. Therefore, when senators do take the time to study and bring forward amendments, we should be paying attention to what they do. We should not discount it as quickly as the minister did.

The Senate tries to help the government and this House pass good legislation. It wants to help us ensure that the laws we pass accomplish what we want done. The Senate wants to help ensure that our legislation would not cause other harm, or place an unnecessary burden on Canadians. (1315)

There are many reasons for the Senate to return a bill to the House with amendments, and it is important that we accept suggestions and recommendations from the other place and agree to consider them seriously.

The first amendment asks for a minimum consultation period of 45 days prior to the approval of an injection site anywhere in Canada. The Senate knows that not all Canadians want injection sites in their local communities, or, as the minister calls them, supervised consumption sites. Anyone looking at community injection sites would understand why. Those who have been involved understand why. To discount the amendment out of hand is disappointing. The Senate is trying to inject a measure of democracy into Bill C-37 by providing communities with a chance to further consider proposals for injection sites. We hope that the Liberals will respect that.

The Liberals talk about inclusion, but we see the opposite. They talk about partnerships with other levels of government, but we see the opposite. Why will they not listen to Canadians? They promised to do politics differently. They said that under their rule, we would all live to our full potential as Canadians, whatever that means. They also promised to consult with Canadians. Now, when the Senate is suggesting that they consult with communities as to where a safe injection site is going to be put, they do not want to hear it. The Liberals do not want to hear from those communities or from those groups that would advocate for one site being a better place than another site.

The Liberals should learn to listen to the grassroots of communities and allow them to have their say. Under Bill C-37, communities should be encouraged to make comments, to offer suggestions, to consider proposals on where an injection site should be built, or if it should be built at all. That is what being community minded is all about. The government should not be afraid of local governments, citizens, community organizations, or anyone who has a differing opinion.

The first amendment wants to allow a local community, large or small, to have at least 45 days to study and prepare before the government opens an injection site. That is fair. The Senate believes it is reasonable, diplomatic, and democratic, but the Liberals say no. Far from delaying the approval of a new injection site, a courtesy to the community is about to be changed.

The second amendment wants to establish a citizens advisory group. Much like the first amendment in some respects, the Senate is trying to help the government with Bill C-37, and after great study on the subject, it felt that this amendment would do that. The Senate is recommending that a group be formed that will help communities deal with the challenges of establishing an injection site. That would be generous and very helpful.

Many Canadians do not know much about what happens at a safe injection site or a supervised consumption site. We want them to be aware of the opioid crisis that is facing Canada and what the Liberals see as solutions. Canadians only know the images that they see on the media, which depict the horrors, for example, of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, what we used to call heroin districts and other things in the United States and Europe.

The constituents that I represent in Battle River do not want to become like the Eastside of Vancouver. In fact, I do not know of too many constituencies, rural or urban, that do. Being almost like a Bible belt in parts of Alberta, more time is probably spent praying for drug victims on those streets. They care very much. They feel badly when they see lives being ruined by the opioid crisis. (1320)

I believe the communities are there and want to help. We want to do the right thing. We want to address the crisis, even if it is in our own communities. As we can see from the statistics that the minister quoted of 900 deaths in B.C. last year and 500 in Alberta, it is in every community.

However, the Liberals are saying that we must do only what the Liberal politicians in Ottawa say we have to do, whether that is in Alberta or anywhere else, and by opposing amendment number two, the Liberals are denying Canadians the opportunity to be involved. The government does not want experts bringing their knowledge into communities and making recommendations and suggestions or amending anything. The Liberals are trying to dictate what every community in Canada must do when it comes to their supervised consumption sites. That is too bad, because wherever the opioid crisis raises its ugly head, in most communities, rural or urban, those communities would like to have some credible and knowledgeable assistance. Why do the Liberals not want that?

The government is saying that it knows what is best: one size will fit all. Imagine, as injections sites are brought into communities across Canada, that none of the lessons learned would be shared with those communities, none of the problems that have been dealt with successfully in certain communities would be available to other communities so that they would be able to benefit.

The Senate is simply trying to help the government with its bill. The Senate is trying to look out for communities, large and small, by having experts who know about the problems help communities grapple with them. That would be a good thing. We hope the government does not dig in its heels on these amendments. We hope that the minister is not just saying that we should do what she says because she knows best, but it seems that is what she is doing.

Canada has many different diverse communities. The operators of injection sites would appreciate being advised of community concerns and local health and safety issues. Not all injection sites would be able to operate the same way in every community.

There are many concerned citizens in every community in Canada. I have seen this in my own large geographical constituency. In every small town and village, there are folks who know very well how the local community operates, and we want to allow them to help. We do not want the Liberals to consider their efforts to be interference. We need everyone with knowledge and experience to work on the opioid crisis. We do not want to exclude the very people who can help us the most, the residents who know how things work in their communities. If the government proceeds with this program, every community could certainly benefit by having five to 10 volunteers within the immediate vicinity of the site at least consulted.

The third amendment that the Senate brought forward directs those working at the site to offer the person who is using this illegal drug some legal pharmaceutical therapy.

Much of the drugs that are being used are obtained illegally. In Senator White's speech in the other place, as a long-time police officer and city police chief, he talked about the day that an addict uses his drug as a day of crime, when he or she would go out and usually commit various crimes in order to raise enough funds to obtain the drug. If this plan is adopted, should we not give those people in those sites who would be using at least some counsel or therapy? Why would the government not listen to what the senators are calling for here? Is it not the most basic and simple thing to try to help those who are abusing opioids at the time they are actually going to use them? Is it not in the best interests of the addicts, and of our society, to help those individuals who are addicts to get off opioids? It sounds as though the Liberals are saying no. (1325)

The more people abuse themselves with harmful opioids, the more they will want to stop as their health declines. I have never met one who wants to keep going. They wish they could get out of the rut they are in. As their relationships with others disappear and their finances disappear, they are going to want help and they are crying for help. They will need to be rescued in order to save their lives.

They probably had a very difficult time getting drugs from some of these drug dealers. The drug abuse world is a violent, lawless world. Every time a drug abuse victim visits an injection site, we should be offering them an alternative. We should make saving that person's life a priority. Why would the Liberals not want that? It is unbelievable. It is almost as if the Liberals are trying to enable the continuing abuse of drugs by drug addicts. It is unfair. This is not the sunny ways the Prime Minister talked about. It is not helping everyone live to their full potential as Canadians, as the government said it wanted to do. What we see is mismanagement of the opioid crisis.

We should make it a criminal offence not to offer an alternative to someone who is so addicted to a drug that they need supervision when they inject that drug. Anyone in that position needs help. They may not accept the help being offered, but at least it should be offered to them. If everyone knows that the injection site is offering a way out, an alternative, then we have a better chance of saving lives.

I have heard some say that offering pharmaceutic therapy could erode the relationship between the drug abuser and the facilitator at the injection site. Really? Could offering a little counsel could lose the relationship between the two? I think the Liberals are off base on this.

The facilitator, as they call it, would be from the community. To the extent that the facilitator may not approve of the drug abuse, that facilitator would want to be ready to help if he or she is asked. I would say that is true in many parts, if not all parts, of Canadian communities, and I hope it would be true in our communities. That is the Canadian way. We are there to help. Is that not what the Prime Minister tells the world—that Canada is there to help? What part does he not get?

I see that my time is running short, so let me just say this: are there good things in Bill C-37? Not much, but we hope the Liberals will support the first amendment and include communities. We hope the Liberals realize communities need time to figure out how they will provide an injection site, and we hope the Liberals are willing to come up with something that could satisfy the third amendment.

There are other measures in Bill C-37. The bill gives the Canada Border Services Agency the authority to open international mail of any weight, should there be reasonable grounds. Perhaps this may sound like a good measure, but I think we had better be careful what we ask for here. In their hurry to find some solution, they may have eroded some of the rights of Canadians, and a lot will depend on the term “reasonable grounds”. Allowing searches of packages and shipping and so on will slow down commerce. Do we mean “reasonable grounds” that there are drugs in there? I think there are already reasonable grounds for every package, if they want to use that, but again, it may not be exactly what they want to accomplish.

If passed, Bill C-37 could add prohibitions and penalties that would apply to possession, production, sale, importation, or transport of anything intended to be used in the production of any controlled substance, including fentanyl. That is a good measure.

I brought forward a private member's bill that offered to allow the minister to allow Canadians access only to specific narcotics that have tamper-resistance or abuse-deterrent formulations. The technology is there now. This measure would only be used when a particular drug is being abused with deadly results of the kind we saw with fentanyl. Oxycontin is available now as OxyNEO, a tamper-proof pharmaceutical, but the government voted against it.

Today the minister said that this is just one measure that will fight the opioid crisis. It is funny, though, that when pharmaceutical companies and United States governments under Obama and other states started going do...”

Mr. David Lametti (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...f potential sites. While our government recognizes the benefits and supports the use of alternative pharmaceutical therapy, the decision to offer additional services to clients should be made by each ...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ack. He said:

Legislating unproven care such as required through the offering of an alternate pharmaceutical therapy on every visit may be a barrier to the unfettered use of the site and comprom...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ople can be consulted and that users of supervised injection sites can have access to resources and pharmaceuticals to prevent the use of these drugs. In my opinion, this is crucial and it is the reas...”

Mr. Luc Berthold

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... site, of the consumption of controlled substances, shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes a controlled substance that is obtained in a mann...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...he site. We know amendment three, offering a person using a supervised consumption site alternative pharmaceutical therapy before the person consumes a controlled substance, is key. We know it is impo...”

Ms. Dianne L. Watts (South Surrey—White Rock, CPC)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...atters.

The third amendment would direct those working at the site to offer users alternative pharmaceutical therapy rather than their consuming street drugs.

I was very pleased to see the...”

Mr. Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey—Newton, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...mption sites, and the requirement that users of supervised consumption sites be offered alternative pharmaceutical therapy. (1715)

All aspects of this legislation are important, and we must act...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... would require a person who is operating a safe injection site to offer what is called “alternative pharmaceutical therapy” to each person entering that facility before the person consumes a controlle...”

Mr. Ken McDonald (Avalon, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...lives.

Finally, our government seeks to amend the provision requiring an offer of alternative pharmaceutical treatment at supervised consumption sites. While we share the goal of improving acces...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...aff who supervise the consumption of substances at a site to offer clients access to an alternative pharmaceutical therapy before they consume illegal drugs at a supervised consumption site.

I w...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t of the three amendments, one that was almost unanimously supported was the amendment to allow for pharmaceutical substitution.

When addicts present at clinics asking for help, they come in with vials of poison, basically, made up in a drug dealer's basement. They are not safe. They are dangerous. This amendment would allow addicts to be offered a pharmaceutical grade option instead of forcing them to use these dangerous drugs.

Why would the minister not allow addicts, who have a treatable condition, to get quality care and have pharmaceutical grade alternatives offered each and every time they come to those clinics?”

Mr. Colin Carrie

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ll reiterate my question, because the parliamentary secretary did not answer it.

We know that pharmaceutical substitution is successful. The evidence from Switzerland is very clear that it works. Under the amendment put forward by the Senate, the addict would not have to commit a crime. The addict would not have to worry about the potential of an overdose. The public would not have to worry about being the victim of a crime. When this was done in Switzerland, we saw a dramatic reduction in illegal drugs. We saw less criminal activity and more people actually moving into treatment.

Again, if we have diabetics who need pharmaceutical grade insulin and obtain it illegally, and they go into a medical facility, what are ...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...early in my speech, if the member had been paying attention. We have nothing against allowing those pharmaceutical options to be offered. The word “shall” in the amendment is what causes us a problem....”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ers. The third amendment directs those working at the site to offer the person using the site legal pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes illegal drugs obtained illegally.

Unlike here in the House where the Liberals rammed the bill through with minimal debate, the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs was able to hold five meetings and hear from 22 witnesses. That is in contrast to the health committee, which only scheduled one meeting on the bill, with only four witnesses appearing, and none of whom was the Minister of Health.

The Senate's amendments are well thought out and take into consideration communities and those battling addiction. I must admit that I was surprised to see the minister agree to the first amendment, as her colleagues voted against the same amendment brought forward by the Conservatives. I am happy that she made the right choice in ensuring that communities at least will have some chance to be involved, if only in a small way.

I do, however, want to acknowledge my disappointment with her rejection of a voluntary community committee. The minister's refusal to include community involvement in regard to injection sites goes against the majority of testimony we heard. Over and over again, witnesses at committee stated that injection sites would not be successful without community support. Community support goes beyond harm reduction advocates. It includes mothers, fathers, law enforcement, and of course the local government. The minister knows that by passing the Senate's amendment to establish a citizen advisory committee, it would demonstrate and respect the fact that not everyone wants an injection site in his or her backyard.

I want to talk about the reasons I support a community committee. By establishing a community committee, it would ensure that the injection site remains clean, and that it operates in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of Canadians. It would ensure that the minister of health, the individual who is responsible and who ultimately approves the site, remains in the loop about the community's concerns with regard to the site. It would ensure that he or she, along with the actual operators of the site, would be held accountable and to a high standard. That should be the goal. The health and safety of those battling addiction and the health and safety of all citizens should be a priority. (1030)

That is why I was shocked that the minister's motion looks to change the wording of the Senate amendment that would improve the bill. The third amendment seeks to offer pharmaceutical therapy as a substitution to an illegally obtained and possibly deadly poison. I realize that the minister's concerns lay in the fact that these sites may range in different services such as an injection site within a hospital to mobile injection sites, but what strikes me as odd is that we would discourage the use of a legal substitution for heroin such as methadone.

For those who may not know, methadone is a maintenance treatment which, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, CAMH, prevents opioid withdrawal and reduces or eliminates drug cravings. It is by offering substitutions that are legal and of pharmaceutical grade such as methadone that could lead a serious drug dependent individual to seek treatment and get the help he or she needs to get clean. Again, should that not be the goal?

The CAMH also states that an individual who is physically dependent on opioids such as heroin or fentanyl is kept free of withdrawal symptoms for 24 hours after a single dose of methadone. In contrast, a person who uses heroin or other short-acting opioids must use three or four times a day to avoid withdrawal. There is no argument here. By ensuring that users are offered legal substitution, crime rates will decrease and the likelihood of seeking detoxification treatment will go up.

I would like to read testimony from the Senate's hearing in which the minister was actually a witness.

I will quote Senator White:

I spent last Sunday night and Monday night in East Hastings with police officers and health officials walking up and down those streets and visiting some of the facilities. The biggest concern raised by community members who aren't addicts and by police officers and health officials is the use of illegal drugs.

I notice that we did see a regulatory change that will allow for the use of medical-grade heroin, but we did not see any regulatory changes that will allow for the medical use of other than medical-grade heroin.

My perspective and that of most people around supervised injection sites is that they move to the relationship between a doctor and an addict, not organized crime, a drug dealer and an addict who is committing crimes but an addict and the doctor which is where it is now. Will we see regulatory change that will allow for greater use of prescriptive pharmaceuticals rather than illegal and illicit poison? I don't want to call them drugs because they're not that.

At that time, the Minister of Health responded. She said:

Thank you for the question. It is a very good one. I encourage honourable senators to work with us in ensuring that access to all range of treatments and responses to this health problem are there. Some of this requires the decisions of provinces and territories as well as medical practitioners who obviously make decisions about what appropriate treatments are.

There is nothing in the bill and nothing in the law that would prevent provinces from expanding a treatment centre associated with a supervised consumption site to be able to allow these kind of treatments to which you are referring to work closely. I think it is an outstanding model and it's a model that we have to perhaps talk about a little more in public.

I know, senator, you are well aware of the work done in other countries. Switzerland is perhaps the best example of that. When people are determined to have opioids use disorder and/or have legal problems associated with their substance use disorder they are introduced to the possibility of being able to be prescribed medications. It certainly has been effective in decreasing crime rates in those areas, very dramatically decreasing overdose rates and treating this as a health issue.

That is what the minister said when she was a witness. Why the change? In Switzerland, they do in fact offer drug substitution as proposed in the Senate amendment, and as stated, it has led to a dramatic reduction of illegal drugs, has reduced crime rates, and has lowered overdose rates. This model has seen high levels of acceptance because rather than an addict illegally obtaining illegal drugs, the individual is able to get pharmacological help from a doctor with the goal of leading to seeking proper treatment. That is why this is so important.

This amendment would allow an individual to enter a site and be offered a legal drug by a medical practitioner as opposed to a dangerous and potentially deadly drug, a poison bought from a drug dealer. This, as I have stated, removes the potential of overdosing and eliminates criminal activity. If the Liberals really wanted to treat addiction as a health problem, they should be encouraging doctors and nurses to be at these sites administering alternatives that many addicts do not even know about. (1035)

We should not be encouraging irresponsible administering of illegal drugs that are manufactured and mixed in a drug dealer's basement lab. We know that they are being laced with fentanyl, carfentanil, and much more. We have an overdose crisis in this country. I will not object to the assertion that injection sites can temporarily save lives, as it is always better when an individual is revived, but we need to be looking at ways to prevent the overdose from happening in the first place.

I believe this amendment that would guarantee that the drug user is offered an alternative pharmaceutical therapy prior to putting something poisonous and potentially deadly into his or her body would do just that. That is why it is crucial that the Liberal government take initiative and ensure that injection sites do not become a place for people simply to get high. If injection sites are wanted in communities, they should be used to ensure that addicts are offered legal, safer alternatives to dangerous and illegal street drugs that have been obtained illegally from drug dealers, alternatives that would decrease overdose rates and decrease crime rates, which I believe should be the overall goal.

I realize that the minister has not flat-out rejected the amendment, but by changing the words “shall offer” to “may offer”, we would guarantee that the majority of users would not be offered a legal, safer alternative. We would not force diabetic Canadians who rely on insulin to commit a crime or numerous crimes to find an illegal insulin supply and to buy their treatment from drug dealers, would we?

Canadians expect their government, if it truly feels that addiction should be treated as a health problem, to provide safe treatment options and detoxification programs for those suffering from addiction. The Liberal plan, unfortunately, provides none of that. The response to this crisis has been horribly slow. We are still debating a bill that was tabled in December and communities are still seeing an increase in overdose deaths. Our country has seen no progress in increasing access to detox treatment, which is another issue that must be addressed but has failed to be addressed by the current Liberal government. We know that not all addicts are willing to go into treatment, which is why I believe that, with the certainty of many new injection sites opening up in the near future, we should at a bare minimum be ensuring that users have a choice between a poisonous street drug or a legal alternative.

In conclusion, this is how I view the situation. The motion put forth by the minister leaves out communities and eliminates the likelihood of reducing crime and overdose rates by offering legal substitution. The approval of an injection site will have a profound impact on any community. Perhaps some will be successful and some will not, but the individual approving the site, the minister of health, should be putting the health of Canadians first. He or she should be encouraging the use of pharmaceutical alternatives over illegally obtained street poison. He or she should be held accounta...”

Mr. Colin Carrie

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t people into treatment, we should be ensuring the proper treatment is there. We should ensure that pharmaceutical substitutions are there and that these addicts can be properly referred to detox prog...”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“....

The second amendment we have heard about from our Conservative colleagues is on alternative pharmaceutical therapy and serious constitutional doubts about it. The parliamentary secretary refer...”

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...llion over 10 years to support targeted actions in home care, mental health, health innovation, and pharmaceuticals. These are the four areas federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to in January 2016 as the priorities for investment. Budget 2017 confirmed this federal offer, which includes $11 billion over 10 years to provinces and territories to improve home care and mental health services as well as $544 million over five years to federal and pan-Canadian health organizations to support health innovation and pharmaceutical initiatives. This investment, targeting improvements in home care and mental health, ...”

Dave MacKenzie (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ribute them across the country could see how families are torn apart by these drugs.

Diverted pharmaceuticals, fentanyl purchased from China, and stolen horse tranquillizers are finding their way onto Canadian streets with fatal consequences. Most worrying of all is the speed with which illegal opioid sales have grown and the number of overdoses. To put things into perspective, the chief coroner for British Columbia told us at the health committee that the percentage of illicit drug deaths involving fentanyl increased from 5% in 2012 to 60% in 2016. If that is not enough to wake up everybody in the House to the fact that we need to do something to get mandatory minimums in place, I do not know what will wake them up.

It is not just a crisis that affects those who find themselves living without a home, but one that affects Canadians of all ages. Fifty-five thousand Canadian high school students indicated that they had abused opioid pain relievers in the past year. That is a tremendous number.

In Ontario, one in eight deaths of individuals aged 25 to 34 years was found to be opioid-related in 2010. That number will not go down; it will simply go up. Families are being destroyed, communities are being invaded, and all Canadians are experiencing reduced access to health and social services because of the resources required to fight this epidemic. This is a public emergency that hits close to home.

Organized crime has now found a foothold in places and at levels never seen before. When the other side wants to legalize marijuana and when we see what this has done, we can only project what the future will be for organized crime. Even for those people who live in areas free of dealers and opioid users, the effects of this drug in drug crime are still felt in people's access to services.

First responders have had to divert significant resources to address this crisis. Ambulance services, firefighters, police, and hospital emergency rooms are all having resources diverted to address this crisis. This means other crimes committed against local residents are not being investigated. It means ambulances resources are increasingly overworked as they respond to a spike in drug overdoses. It means firefighters now have to additionally consider the chance that what appears to be a simple residential fire may in fact be an illicit and contaminated drug lab, a danger to both their immediate safety and their long-term health.

This says nothing about the increased burden on social services that are already stretched due to the Liberal government's lack of support to local communities. (1155)

Mental health workers are already facing an uphill battle against criminal gangs continually pushing all kinds of harmful drugs into the community. If we are to help those most in need, then we also need to fight this crisis at its source and punish those who would wish to continue it. This would bring justice not only to those caught in addiction, but to the sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters already lost to these lethal street drugs.

I recognize that the opioid crisis is multi-faceted, but Bill C-338 is one key step in cutting off the source. I support the bill because criminal enterprises are not facing harsh enough sentences for diverting legitimate pharmaceuticals to illicit street drugs. Those pushing opioids into our streets and communities need...”

Robert Oliphant (Liberal)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rther research and clean air to breathe, and to close gaps in our health care system, including for pharmaceuticals. No matter where we live in this country, we should have access to the best possible...”


The Senate

Hon. Jane Cordy

June 21st
Hansard Link

Health Physician-Pharmaceutical Company Relationships

“...dia yesterday that an audit has shown that doctors in Canada are receiving millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies. In the United States there's a sunshine law, so it's revealed openly what doctors are being given by big pharma.

It's my belief that patients should be aware of whether or not their doctor has received a golf trip or is being paid by a pharmaceutical company or is being taken out to dinners at very expensive restaurants so that they c...”

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Message from Commons—Amendment from Commons Concurred In

“...opted by the Senate would have required supervised consumption sites to offer an alternative, legal pharmaceutical therapy to clients before they consume illegal drugs at the site.

The Government has chosen to alter this language, while retaining a portion of the amended version. Instead of saying that:

. . . a person who is responsible for the direct supervision, at a supervised consumption site, of the consumption of controlled substances shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy . . .

The Government has changed the words "shall" to "may."

I want to thank Senator White for bringing forward this amendment, and for his tireless work on this issue, including his contributions to banning fentanyl precursors, and in collaboration with Senator Sinclair, his insightful amendments to Bill C-224, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which is now law.

I want to make it clear that the Government of Canada fully supports access to legal treatment options for people who are living with addictions.

As Minister Philpott told this Chamber on March 1 during Question Period:

I would say that there would be nothing stopping people in those jurisdictions from making sure that these sites are not just supervised consumption sites, but that they are places where, when people are ready to be introduced to treatment, when they need to have their social issues addressed, when they need medication assisted therapy to help them stay alive and prevent them from going out into the streets to find ways, including criminal activities, to support their dependence on substances, they are given clean substances in a safe facility under the direction of health-care providers. This will save lives and it is how we've seen internationally that other jurisdictions have responded to a similar crisis.

So this amendment — as modified in the other place — is an important statement to other jurisdictions emphasizing that their authority to provide legal, pharmaceutical therapies at supervised consumption sites is being endorsed by this Parliament.

..”

Hon. Paul E. McIntyre

May 17th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Message from Commons—Amendment from Commons Concurred In

“...have enabled people using drugs such as fentanyl or carfentanil to be given the option of receiving pharmaceutical treatment instead of injecting poison into their bodies. By replacing the word "shall" with the word "may," the minister effectively closed the door to a more modern approach.

In addition, this modern approach was discussed at the Sommet francophone sur la réduction des méfaits liés aux drogues, which was held a few days ago in Montreal. Experts discussed the option consisting of prescribing drugs to help with the process of detoxification. In short, experts suggest prescribing transition drugs.

Under Senator White's amendment, a person with an addiction would have been offered a pharmaceutical replacement by a medical practitioner, not a drug dealer. That addicted person would ...”

Hon. Vernon White

May 4th
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Third Reading

“...he primary purposes of the facility is to try and save the life of the individual who uses this non-pharmaceutical ingredient, and hopefully try and move them through their addiction process. That is the way the facility works, and I understand the importance of those facilities for saving lives.

So we're clear, an addict buys illegal, illicit substances. I try not to call them "drugs," as they are typically not a pharmacological substance but rather a basement-made poison developed by a crime group for the sole purpose of making money off addicts, which often puts that addict directly into danger beyond their addictions, as we are seeing across Canada with thousands dying in the last two years, as Senator Jaffer stated.

The amendment that passed would provide a clear change to the process by which supervised consumption sites operate today.

It states clearly that:

A person who is responsible for the direct supervision, at a supervised consumption site, of the consumption of controlled substances, shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes a controlled substance that is obtained in a manner not authorized under this Act.

In essence, an individual will be offered a replacement for the illegal, illicit poison they may be in possession of. Under this amendment, the addict I discussed will enter the clinic with or without an illegal substance and be offered pharmaceutical replacement therapy by a medical practitioner, not a drug dealer.

The addict wi...”

Hon. Larry W. Campbell

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Third Reading—Debate Adjourned

“...uch as pill presses and encapsulators that can be used to produce illegal drugs such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals; remove the exemption in the Customs Act that prevents officers at the border from i...”

Hon. Bob Runciman

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Controlled Drugs and Substances Bill Bill to Amend—Fourteenth Report of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Adopted

“... site, of the consumption of controlled substances, shall offer a person using the site alternative pharmaceutical therapy before that person consumes a controlled substance that is obtained in a manner not authorized under this act.

(2) the failure to offer alternative pharmaceutical therapy in subsection (1) does not constitute an offence under this Act or any other Act of Parliament.

Senator White, who moved this amendment, can explain it much better than I can, but in brief it is in keeping with a considerable amount of evidence heard at the committee.

(1850)

First, the users of a supervised consumption site are bringing illicit drugs into the facility, drugs that they've acquired in an illegal transaction on the street, and they may well have committed a crime themselves to get the money to buy the product.

Second, these facilities are supervised, but we should be under no illusions about the safety of the product being consumed. These are illegal drugs or, as Senator White referred to them at committee, poison. The buyers don't know what's in them, the staff at the consumption site don't know, and it may be that the sellers don't know either.

The amendment is modelled on the approach being taken in Switzerland, and we heard quite a bit of testimony about that, where they provide a substitute pharmaceutical to addicts. Staff at the clinic and the user will know what is in the product, which ...”


Active Bills

Bill C-30


An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures
LEGISInfo Link

Bill Status: Royal Assent

“...ork for the issuance and administration of certificates of supplementary protection, for which patentees with patents relating to pharmaceutical products will be eligible, and (ii) provide further regulation-making authority in subsection 55.‍2(4) to permit the replacement of the current summ...”

“...aced by the following: (d) specifying factors for the purposes of subsection 85(1) or (2), including factors relating to the introductory price of any medicine to which a patented invention, or invention protected by a certificate of supplementary protection,...”


Bill S-201


An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination
LEGISInfo Link

Bill Status: Royal Assent

“...individual to whom they are providing health services; or (b) a person who is conducting medical, pharmaceutical or scientific research in respect of an individual who is a participant in the research. OFFENCES AND PUNISHMENT Contravention of sections 3 to 5 ...”


Filed Regulations

Regulations Amending the Establishment Licensing Fees (Veterinary Drugs) Regulations

May 5, 2017 SOR/2017-77
Registration SOR/2017-77 May 5, 2017 FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT
Gazette Link

“...ishment licences for activities that relate to drugs for veterinary use only, with the exception of those for activities that relate to any active pharmaceutical ingredient, as defined in subsection C.01A.001(1) of the Food and Drug Regulations, that is for veterinary use.

2 Subsection 11(...”


Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Veterinary Drugs — Antimicrobial Resistance)

May 5, 2017 SOR/2017-76
Registration SOR/2017-76 May 5, 2017 FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Gazette Link

“...1) is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

List A means the document, entitled List of Certain Antimicrobial Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, that is published by the Government of Canada on its website, as amended from time to time; (Liste A)

List B means the...”

“...tion C.01.611:

C.01.612 (1) Every manufacturer or importer who sells a veterinary drug in dosage form that contains an active pharmaceutical ingredient that is set out in List A, or every person who compounds such a drug, shall, in a form established by the Minister, submit to the Minister...”

“...s of the manufacturer or importer; (b) the brand name under which the veterinary health product is sold; (c) the pharmaceutical form in which the veterinary health product is sold; (d) the strength per dosage unit; (e) the route of administration; (f) a quantitative list of ...”

“... of the Feeds Regulations, 1983; (c) an active ingredient that is for veterinary use and that is not an active pharmaceutical ingredient; (d) an active pharmaceutical ingredient for veterinary use that is not required to be sold pursuant to a prescription and that is also a natural health product as defined in subsection 1(1) of the N...”

“...tion (1):

(1.1) This Division and Division 2 do not apply to a veterinary health product or an active pharmaceutical ingredient that is used in the fabrication of a veterinary health product.

(3) Section C.01A.002 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsec...”

“...practitioner or a person who compounds a drug under the supervision of a veterinary practitioner, of an active pharmaceutical ingredient for veterinary use that is for the purpose of compounding, pursuant to a prescription, a drug in dosage form that is not commercially available in Canada, if that ...”

“...dment.

Item

Categories of Drugs

7

Active pharmaceutical ingredients set out in List A that are for veterinary use

10 Section C.08.001 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

C.08.001 For the ...”

“... Transitional Provision

11 (1) In this section, fabricate, package/label, import and active pharmaceutical ingredient have the same meaning as in subsection C.01A.001(1) of the Food and Drug Regulations.

(2) Every person who, on or before the day on which section 7,...”

“...d section 9 of these Regulations come into force, fabricates, packages/labels, tests or imports an active pharmaceutical ingredient for veterinary use may continue to do so without an establishment licence if they submit an application for a licence under section C.01A.005 of the Food and Drug Regul...”

“...ersight of antimicrobials for veterinary use. The new regulations will require veterinary active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) imported or sold in Canada to be manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing practices (GMPs); require persons who import, fabricate, package, label or test veter...”

“...e direct administration to food-producing animals) and require that active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in the manufacture of veterinary drugs be compliant with GMPs.

In Canada, veterinary drugs in dosage form that are authorized for sale have to meet strict standards, including ...”

“...l increase in time required for appropriate veterinary oversight. Access to antimicrobials could be reduced, potentially affecting livestock and poultry mortality. Potential increase in veterinary costs to producers. Potential increase of on-farm costs due to decreas...”

“... farmers to a growing number of products that may improve or maintain the health of their animals may diminish the incidence of disease and thereby reduce the need for expensive therapeutic treatments. Furthermore, VHPs that are currently accessed through the EDR will now be freely available without...”

“...deral agriculture and public health officials.

These technical discussions covered a broad variety of topics related to the modernization of veterinary drug regulations, and an overall risk-based approach to drug approval, notably based on best international practices.

The propos...”

“...ure and public health officials, on the topic of increasing stewardship of veterinary antimicrobials, including proposals for increased regulatory oversight.

The scope of the consultation was on a series of interrelated regulatory and non-regulatory proposals that support each other toward...”

“...rking on a separate and dedicated MUMS initiative, in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), to facilitate access to MUMS products and, in the last three years, five products for minor species have been authorized under this program.

A number of respondents, including ...”

“... at 6 months. Persons who conduct regulated activities may continue to do so without an EL provided they have filed an application for an EL within 14 months following the coming into force of the new regulations respecting GMP and EL requirements for active pharmaceutical ingredients to allow ...”

“...ble II following subsection C.01A.008(4) was revised to include drugs that are on List A as a new category of drugs so as to better track which EL applications are being made in respect of a drug on List A. The term “produits de santé vétérinaires” was replaced with “produits de santé animale” ...”

“...hment Licensing Fees (Veterinary Drug Regulations) will come into force 12 months following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II, to accord with the extended coming into force of the EL provisions in the FDR. Regulatory cooperation

These regulations will bring Canada in closer al...”


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