A Serious Talk about the Quality of Medicines in Canada

Generic medicines have been imported into Canada from India since the mid-2000's, and account for up to forty per cent of the generic medicines used in Canada today. Since then, there have been numerous reports from Health Canada regarding the poor quality of these medicines. Poor manufacturing standards have led to reports of impurities such as bacteria, mould, and contaminated water in the medicines coming from India.

Other pharmacies in Canada with highly recognizable names are required to purchase medicines determined by a corporate head office, or else suffer a financial penalty, leaving the quality of the medicines in their stores beyond their control. Often, these companies choose drugs with the lowest possible price, and not the highest quality. I am therefore operating Delaware Pharmacy independently so that I can choose high quality, safe, and effective medications for you and your family. To do this, I have partnered with two Canadian drug manufacturers who manufacture nearly all of their medicines in Canada.

My objective is to provide my customers with the highest quality of medicines possible. With quality as the most important factor in choosing medicines, there are no other overriding factors that will interfere with that decision.

The criteria I have used to make my decisions about purchasing include determining the country of origin of a medicine, seeing that Canada can regulate and regularly inspect plants in Canada, but not elsewhere. Consideration is also given to whether products are made under contract, as opposed to in-house. Higher standards can be achieved if Company A makes Product B in Company A's production facility - there's better oversight and better communication over the products being made. Some pharmaceutical companies that exist have their entire product lines manufactured under contract - yes, they keep their overhead low, but what happens to quality?

In addition, contract manufacturers have to make a variety of products in one particular plant, but problems can occur when switching from one product to another. Shut down time is expensive, so the process of "ramping up" to make another product is often a hurried product. But improper cleaning from the previous product can lead to cross contamination in the next. Therefore, consideration is given to whether a product comes from a facility that manufactures a single product versus multiple products.

I apply my standards for pharmaceuticals to the vitamins and mineral selection at Delaware Pharmacy as well. The vitamins we carry have been manufactured in Canada and the United States, and come from nowhere else.

Jason Newman, pharmacist and owner, Delaware Pharmacy

11569 Longwoods Rd, Delaware, ON 

(519) 652-5558

www.delawarepharmacy.ca

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