Health Canada failing Canadians, AG says of wait on medical devices

Originally published in the by iPolitics on June 9th, 2011. To go to the iPolitics website please click here

Canadians face delayed access to life-saving and pain-relieving medical devices that are available in other countries because of bureaucratic red tape, a new audit finds.

A status update report from the Auditor General’s Office found that in 45 per cent of cases, Health Canada does not meet timeliness standards for its review of submissions to market new medical devices. Critical devices designed to diagnose disease, reduce pain, and extend lives are often approved for use in other countries before companies apply to Health Canada for approval.

Despite past recommendations, the department has not used foreign reviews to make its own review of submissions more efficient.

“Health Canada needs to improve its on-time performance, use foreign reviews to reduce delays, and ensure it adequately monitors the safety and effectiveness of medical devices available in Canada,” said Interim Auditor General John Wiersema.

Full report available here

Keywords: medical devices