It’s not just the EpiPen. Canada had 25 new drug shortages this week alone

(Kelly Crowe/ CBC News) — It’s not just the EpiPen. Drug shortages have quietly become a chronic problem for Canada’s health-care system. This week alone, 25 new drugs were listed on Canada’s drug shortage website.

They include treatments for migraines, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, hepatitis B, genital herpes, hypertension, and even generic Viagra.

They’re the latest additions to a list of more than 700 drug shortages registered so far this year — a rotating series of supply interruptions with no apparent solution on the horizon.

“It’s a huge problem that is largely being ignored,” said Jacalyn Duffin, a hematologist and medical historian, who is one of the few experts studying the issue in Canada.

One of the drugs on the list is vitamin K, something three-year-old Jessica Tolensky needs as part of her daily intravenous infusion. Born with a short bowel, she depends on the IV for critical nutrients. But instead of getting a dose of vitamin K every night, as she normally does, the pharmacy is rationing her to only three doses a week. (…)

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