Canada needs EML to ensure supply ;
Canada needs to create a list of essential drugs to help protect against drug shortages, holds a analysis CMAJ ( Canadian Medical Association Journal )
Unlike 117 other member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Australia , Norway, India and China, Canada does not have a list of essential drugs.
A list of essential drugs includes between 200 and 500 drugs that a government is committed to keeping in stock. The list may include prescription and over-the-counter drugs and natural health products.
In Canada, more than 8000 drugs licensed for sale.
“The establishment of a list of essential medicines of maybe 500 items could go a long way to ensure the availability of at least one drug for every health need is in outpatient and inpatient settings,” writes Dr. Jacalyn Duffin, who holds the Hannah Chair, history of Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, with co-authors.
Shortages of medicines, which can have serious consequences, can still occur, despite having a list of essential drugs due to the global shortage may limit supplies. Identification of important drugs and working globally to improve the availability and contingency plan can help governments avoid or mitigate the shortage.
The authors also suggest that a list of essential medicines could be part of a national program of pharmaceutical services in Canada, as it could help identify drugs that should be funded as part of a plan.
“A list of essential medicines alone can not solve the problem of scarcity,” the authors write. “Political action is needed strong to support the creation of a Canadian list of essential medicines, both as a way to support national pharmaceutical services and to support global efforts coordinated to mitigate drug shortages .”
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