Supply-line disruptions due to COVID-19 could cause Canadian drug shortage

Published April 1, 2020 at 4:11 pm


OTTAWA — The deputy minister of Health Canada says the COVID-19 pandemic will likely lead to shortages of drugs and medical devices that treat other conditions.

A lack of medications to fill ordinary prescriptions is an ongoing issue in Canada, but deputy health minister Stephen Lucas, the federal department’s top public servant, says COVID-19 is worsening the problem.

In a House of Commons health committee meeting Tuesday, Lucas explained the pandemic has had an impact on global supply chains.

He says there is a dedicated government team trying to predict which drugs will be affected and respond accordingly.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association has encouraged its members to limit patients to 30-day supplies of their prescriptions.

Health Canada has also warned Canadians not to stockpile drugs in an effort to avoid unnecessary shortages.

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