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Medication Shortage Information

March 7, 2012 In February 2012, the pharmaceutical company Sandoz notified hospitals across Canada that it is closing portions of its Boucherville plant for the next 12-18 months to address manufacturing issues identified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The closure affects the availability of many of the drugs that hospitals, including The Ottawa Hospital, purchase from Sandoz. Some medications will no longer be manufactured, while others will continue to be available in reduced supply. Medications of concern are largely injectable narcotics used during and after surgery for pain control.  This unprecedented situation may cause surgical procedures to be cancelled if some medications are unavailable and if a solution is not readily found.

The Ottawa Hospital is committed to providing safe, high quality patient care and although these shortages may impact services, we are working hard to meet the needs of our patients. We are tracking our usage of Sandoz-supplied drugs, determining our current supply levels and doing our best to manage the supplies appropriately. We have ordered medications from other manufacturers when an alternative was available. Throughout the hospital, highly trained and experienced clinical pharmacists will help physicians choose alternative medications when our stock is low or we no longer have access to particular medications.

Health Canada, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Hospital Association are working together to find a solution as soon as possible.

We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will make necessary changes as the situation evolves. The Ottawa Hospital is committed to addressing any concerns patients may have about their care and will keep our community up to date on this issue.