Health Canada recently confirmed that it is drafting a new anti-counterfeit strategy and is planning to hold a conference to discuss the threat of counterfeit drugs after its release. While the quantity of counterfeit drugs is not as prolific in Canada as in some other countries, where as many as 50% of pharmaceuticals sold are fake, there appears to be an increase in counterfeit drugs sold in Canada. Recent cases include the death of Marcia Ann Bergeron of British Columbia, who passed away after taking fake drugs containing high levels of aluminium, obtained from a web-site. and the sale of counterfeit Norvasc from a Hamilton pharmacy. While the Regional Coroner was not able to state conclusively that the counterfeit Norvasc, consisting of talc, was responsible for the deaths of four patients, this could not be ruled out. The new Strategy is expected to expand enforcement, propose amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and include an education component directed at alerting consumers to the dangers of counterfeit drugs.
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