Jun 082017

Related to the pharmaceutical companies have a great impactand decades-long battles by Canadians for proper regulation (uncorrupted research and regulation) (as in the case with vaccines in the U.S.)  note the following re Accutane and Thalidomide:

ACCUTANE:   According to the list, Accutane, on the market for 27 years (1982 to June 2009)  was withdrawn in the U.S. (2009).

35 FDA-Approved Prescription Drugs Later Pulled from the Market  http://prescriptiondrugs.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=005528    (includes Accutane)

Accutane has not been withdrawn in Canada.

2016-04-25   Acne drug Accutane’s harm to fetus a worry despite prevention efforts, CBC 

and   Canadian women still getting pregnant while on Accutane, despite risks of birth defects, National Post, Apr 25, 2016 (same date).   (More strongly worded than the CBC report, I think)  http://news.nationalpost.com/news/0426-na-accutane.

(Birth defects are far from the only “side effects” of Accutane.)

THALIDIMIDE:  http://www.thalidomide.ca/the-canadian-tragedy/

There are approximately 5,000 survivors alive today, around the world. Never counted and never to be known, are the numbers of babies miscarried, or stillborn, let alone the number of family members and parents who have suffered over the years.

Around the world, in the late 1960’s and into the early 1970’s, the victims of the drug thalidomide and their families entered into class action legal suits, or threatened actions, against the various drug companies who manufactured and/or distributed the drug, and they were eventually awarded settlements. In most countries, these settlements included monthly or annual payments based on the level of disability of the individual.

In Canada, the story was quite different. Canadian victims of the drug were forced to go it alone, family by family. No case ever reached a trial verdict. Rather, families were forced to settle out-of-court with gag orders imposed on them not to discuss the amounts of their settlements. This resulted in wide disparity in the compensation amounts, with settlements for individuals with the same levels of disability varying by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In 1987, the War Amputations of Canada established The Thalidomide Task Force to seek compensation for Canadian-born thalidomide victims from the government of Canada. As Canada had allowed the drug onto the Canadian market when many warnings were already available about side effects associated with thalidomide, and as Canada left the drug on the market a full three months after the majority of the world had withdrawn the drug, it was felt and argued that the government of Canada had a moral responsibility to ensure that thalidomide victims were properly compensated.

I think of those examples when I think:  Ontario passed Bill 87 making it very difficult for parents to exercise choice over what vaccines are injected into their children.

Canadians are complacent and/or disempowered.  In the cases of Accutane, Thalidomide, Vaccines, and other issues, I worry that we are not protecting our children as robustly as we need to.

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