The Honorable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, joined by Member of Parliament for Oakville Terence Young, today celebrated a major milestone for patient safety in Canada - the passage of new legislation known as Vanessa's Law (the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act).
"Today is an historic day for patient safety in Canada. As Minister of Health, nothing is more important to me than the safety of Canadians and their families. Through Vanessa's Law, Canadians will be better informed about medications they are prescribed, and our Government will be empowered to recall unsafe products from the market. I am confident that Canadians will be better protected and lives will be saved as a result of these changes." - Rona Ambrose - Minister of Health.
Delivering on a promise in the 2013 Speech from the Throne, the Act will protect Canadians from unsafe medicine by enabling the Government to:
"I am honoured today to stand with my colleague Terence Young and his family to announce the passage of Vanessa's Law. Terence has devoted fourteen years of hard work to ensure that Canadians are safer and better informed about their health. Nothing will ever make up for the loss of their beloved Vanessa, but I hope they can find consolation in this accomplishment." - Rona Ambrose - Minister of Health.
These new transparency measures build on the progress Health Canada has already achieved through its Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework. The Framework commits Health Canada to a set of concrete initiatives that will make easy-to-understand regulatory health and safety information more available to Canadians.
Vanessa's Law is named after Member of Parliament Terence Young's daughter Vanessa, who died of a heart attack while on a prescription drug that later was deemed not safe and removed from the market.
The Bill received all-party support in the House of Commons in light of its important new safety provisions that will benefit Canadians.
The Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act introduces the most profound and important changes to the Food and Drugs Act that have been made since it was introduced more than 50 years ago.
"I am extremely grateful for the overwhelming support that Vanessa's Law has received. These stronger drug and medical device safety tools are absolutely necessary to protect all Canadians." - Terence Young - Member of Parliament.