MP McLeod applauds strengthened patient safety legislation

Vanessa’s Law gives the Minister of Health new tools to better respond to drug safety issues

OTTAWA – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo was pleased to see the proposed patient safety legislation, Bill C-17, Vanessa’s Law pass through the House of Commons and move to the Senate for consideration.

Vanessa’s Law gives the Minister of Health new tools to better respond to drug safety issues, such as the power to recall unsafe drugs, impose stiff financial penalties and require mandatory adverse reaction reporting by healthcare facilities.

“The amendments made to the Bill will enhance transparency concerning Health Canada’s regulatory decisions, information regarding clinical trials, and address the scope of confidential business information and disclosure,” said McLeod. “If passed, Vanessa’s Law will provide new tools to make pharmaceutical drugs, biologics and medical devices safer for Canadians.”

The amendments to the bill were adopted by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health on June 12. They included the requirement that both positive and negative decisions about drug authorizations be disclosed on a public website, and that clinical trial information be disclosed on a public registry. Further, they better defined the scope of confidential business information (CBI) that will allow the Minister of Health to disclose CBI about a product if the minister believes the product may pose a serious risk to Canadians.

 

“The changes included in Vanessa’s Law will enable us to take drug safety to a new level. We can now provide Canadian patients and safety experts with information they have long been calling for. With this information, Canadians can make well-informed decisions concerning their health and that of their families,” concluded McLeod.