The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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ISSUE
1171
Safety of Canadian Drugs
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Questions have been raised in the US press recently about the safety of Canadian drugs. The process of drug approval in Canada is similar to that in the US (D Paul, Int J Med Marketing 2001; 1:224). More than 90% of drugs available in Canada have also been approved by the FDA. Most of these drugs come from the same manufacturers as drugs in the US. Health Canada takes longer on average to release drugs than the FDA does; more than half the drugs discontinued for safety reasons by the FDA between 1992 and 2001 had not been approved for use in Canada (NS Rawson and KI Kaitin, Ann Pharmacother 2003; 37:1403). Websites claiming to sell Canadian drugs, however, may be selling counterfeit drugs from unregulated sources.

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