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Canada Takes Steps to Improve Safety of Health Products

  • Date: 2009/03/17 (Rev. 2010/06/27)
  • Health Canada
  • Synopsis : MedEffect Canada to report suspected side effects from health products and access the latest safety information.

Main Document

The Government of Canada has launched a new social marketing campaign encouraging Canadian consumers to use MedEffect Canada to report suspected side effects from health products and access the latest safety information.

MedEffect Canada allows health professionals and consumers to easily complete and file reports on adverse reactions via web, phone, fax or mail. The website also provides the most recent and reliable health product safety information.

"We know that the under-reporting of side effects is a problem worldwide," said the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "MedEffect Canada makes it easy to report suspected side effects, and for us to improve product safety for all Canadians."

The new social marketing campaign stresses that increased reporting of side effects contributes significantly to the safe use of health products, such as prescription and non-prescription drugs and natural health products. Currently, less than 10 per cent of suspected side effects are reported.

As part of the marketing campaign, Health Canada is distributing a brochure entitled A Patient Guide for Reporting Side Effects from Health Products, which will be displayed at partner pharmacies across the country, including: Metro Ontario Pharmacies Limited, Canada Safeway, Costco, Familiprix, Zellers, Katz Group (Rexall/PharmaPlus), London Drugs, Lovell Drugs, uniPHARM Wholesale Drugs (Medicine Center Pharmacies), Remedy Drug Stores, Walmart Canada and Uniprix.

The campaign also includes ads in newspapers and medical journals across the country to promote the importance of reporting side effects, and distributing a health professional guide to reporting side effects.

You can report any adverse reactions associated with the use of health products to the Canada Vigilance Program by one of the following three ways:

Online at the MedEffect Canada website (www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/index-eng.php);

By completing the Canada Vigilance Reporting Form available on the website and mailing it postage-paid or faxing it toll-free to 1-866-678-6789;

By calling toll-free to 1-866-234-2345.

Consumers can find the latest communications about health product safety issues on the MedEffect Canada website or receive them automatically by subscribing to the MedEffect e-Notice.

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