Published on Best Medicines Coalition (http://bestmedicines.ca)

Drug safety advice to patients

In a Letter to Editor, BMC Chair Gail Attara expressed concern about Globe & Mail coverage on a drug safety study which included advice to patients regarding avoidance of newly-approved mediations.


Dear Editor,

Dr. Joel Lexchin’s advice that patients should decline use of new
drugs is disturbing (More caution needed on newly approved drugs, Canadian
researcher says
, January 28, 2014). Health Canada has a rigourous
regulatory framework and conducts comprehensive reviews.  However, that
said, there is always an element of risk with any medical procedure or
treatment, including using prescription drugs. The fact of the matter is that
many Canadian patients rely on prescription drugs to be able to improve their
health, especially those with difficult to treat and debilitating
conditions.  It is naive to suggest that these patients forgo treatments
as they become available: this position does not recognize the real and urgent
needs of many Canadian patients, especially those who are suffering from
life-threatening illnesses.

--Gail Attara, Best Medicines Coalition & Gastrointestinal Society

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