Generic, biosimilar and off-patent medicine maker, Sandoz Canada has published a list of the top 100 most important medicines in Canada from a clinical standpoint. They note that out of the top 100 medicines, 25 molecules have been categorized as high risk of shortage; 30 per cent are at a medium risk for shortages, they add. 

Based on advice from a group of physicians and pharmacists, they say the drugs making the list should be prioritized for continuous supply in Canada. (The medicines identified are supplied by various manufacturers, they state.)

High risk of shortage means 60 per cent or more of their supply is manufactured by only one or two sources, they cannot be provided by other suppliers, or the drugs have a history of supply shortages in Canada. “Drug shortages and product discontinuations remain critical concerns within the Canadian healthcare system. On average there are 242 shortage reports and 34 discontinuation reports per month,” they write.

“With the top 100 list, we’re aiming to mitigate drug shortages by identifying the medicines that are most important for Canadians and developing actionable recommendations that can be implemented to address system burdens,” says Michel Robidoux, president and general manager at Sandoz Canada.

Dr. Régis Vaillancourt, pharmacist and chair of the initiative adds: “To meaningfully address drug shortages, ongoing public and private collaboration is key to ensuring that Canadians will have reliable, consistent access to the medicines they need.”