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PACP Committee Report

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Mr. David Christopherson
Chair
Standing Committee on Public Accounts
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Canada

Dear Mr. Christopherson:

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons, I am pleased to respond on behalf of Health Canada to the Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Chapter 4, Regulating Pharmaceutical Drugs – Health Canada, of the Fall 2011 Report of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG).

I would like to thank the Standing Committee for its work in reviewing Chapter 4, Regulating Pharmaceutical Drugs – Health Canada, which resulted in the recommendation that “Health Canada provide to the Public Accounts Committee by March 31, 2013, a detailed progress report on its June 1, 2012, action plan items so the Committee may appraise the progress of Health Canada regarding its commitments to address the OAG’s recommendations.  This update should provide evidence of substantive, measurable progress, especially for action items that are to be completed by March 31, 2013.”

In response to the recommendation, Health Canada provided an updated action plan to the Standing Committee in March 2013 titled Update and Response to OAG Recommendations for the Regulation of Pharmaceutical Drugs in Fall 2011 as of: March 28, 2013 (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/pubs/hpfb-dgpsa/oag-bvg-eng.php).  I am pleased to report that the majority of action plan items undertaken to respond to the OAG’s recommendations have been completed and that remaining items are on schedule to be completed within the timeframe committed.  We will continue to update the OAG on our activities.

Canada has one of the safest and most rigorous drug safety systems in the world.  Health Canada strives to maintain a balance between the potential health benefits and risks posed by all drugs and health products.  The actions described in the document referenced above will help to improve Health Canada’s already robust processes for managing and mitigating risks, and communicating those risks to Canadians.

Health Canada’s significant progress demonstrates our ongoing commitment to helping to provide timely access to safe and effective pharmaceutical drugs to Canadians, while also providing Canadians with the information they need to make informed decisions about their health.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq

Minister of Health