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Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage

OTTAWA — The deputy minister of Health Canada says the COVID-19 pandemic will likely lead to shortages of drugs and medical devices that treat other conditions.

A lack of medications to fill ordinary prescriptions is an ongoing issue in Canada, but deputy health minister Stephen Lucas, the federal department’s top public servant, says COVID-19 is worsening the problem.

In a House of Commons health committee meeting Tuesday, Lucas explained the pandemic has had an impact on global supply chains.

He says there is a dedicated government team trying to predict which drugs will be affected and respond accordingly.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association has encouraged its members to limit patients to 30-day supplies of their prescriptions.

Health Canada has also warned Canadians not to stockpile drugs in an effort to avoid unnecessary shortages.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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