LONDON, Ont. — A nationwide drug shortage that forces patients to go without needed medication or take less effective or riskier alternatives is compromising Canadians' health, a survey of doctors and pharmacists suggests.
That drug shortage has worsened since 2010, according a survey of more than 1,070 members of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists in October 2012.
"Let there be no doubt — these results demonstrate that drug shortages remain a serious problem in the Canadian health-care system,” sDoug Sellinger , president of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, said Monday.
The shortage is also forcing doctors and pharmacists to spend time searching for drug sources rather than providing front-line care.
"Patients who can't get the medicines they need pay a terrible toll,” said Dr Anna Reid, president of the Canadian Medical Association.
“The commitment of physicians and other health-care professionals has helped to lessen the impact on their patients, but it comes at a price: Time better spent with patients is instead being used by physicians to identify alternative drugs and therapies,"
According to the report, 94% of pharmacists struggled to source a medication the week of the survey, 66% of physicians said shortages have become worse since 2010, and 64% of physicians and 41% of pharmacists said shortages had consequences for patients.
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