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Pharmaco Funding Compromises Drug Approval Process: CCPA

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Section: Canadian News Geography: Canada Topics: health, corporate

October 20, 2004

Pharmaco Funding Compromises Drug Approval Process: CCPA

A new study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), authored by Dr. Joel Lexchin, Associate Professor in the School of Health Policy and Management at York University, finds that drug regulation in Canada is not as open, as safe, and as efficient as it should be. The study, entitled "Transparency in Drug Regulation: Mirage or Oasis", argues that Health Canada and the brand-name pharmaceutical industry are too closely tied to each other for the consumer's good.

The report shows that "about half" of the Therapeutic Products Directorate (part of Health Canada) drug testing budget is funded by the pharmaceutical industry. This "cost recovery" fundraising is to offset deep budgeting cuts by the federal government in the 1990s. Dr. Lexchin writes that this relationship seriously compromises the safety and efficacy of the drug approval process.

Dr. Lexchin also writes that "There is no justification for Canada's failure to match the US standard." In the US, the report shows, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug approval process is more transparent, and thus safer for eventual users.

» Centre for Policy Alternatives

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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