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This article was published 16/3/2012 (2941 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- The generic drug maker at the centre of the nationwide medication shortage stands to profit from the crisis, the Ottawa Citizen has learned.
Foreign manufacturing plants belonging to Sandoz, the generic-drug subsidiary of pharmaceuticals giant Novartis, represent the single largest group seeking Health Canada's permission to provide the medications that are in short supply.
As the federal drug regulator, Health Canada, is reviewing applications from companies that could fill the gap left by Sandoz Canada, which has slowed or discontinued production of dozens of sole-sourced painkillers, sedatives and cardiac drugs commonly used by hospitals across the country.
Of the 23 applications from drug makers that could ease the shortage, 15 are from "Sandoz sourcing supplies from their foreign facilities," Health Canada said in a written response to questions posed by the Citizen.
The remaining eight applications are from companies Health Canada did not name.
Among the 15 generic drugs that could be supplied by Sandoz's foreign affiliates are Dexamethasone, Clindamycin, Diazepam, morphine, Fentanyl and Midazolam.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq has said her department could give its approval within a month to the first drug companies willing to fill the void left by the Boucherville, Que. company.
The facility, which has been plagued by quality-control lapses and a recent fire, supplies Canadian hospitals with 90 per cent of all injectable drugs, including more than 100 narcotic painkillers and sedatives commonly used in operating rooms, intensive-care units and emergency departments.
Any company, including Sandoz, that receives federal approval to be an alternate supplier likely will charge a premium for its medications, warned Michael Blanchard, clinical director of pharmacy services for HealthPro Canada.
-- Postmedia News