CSHP e-Newsbrief
Jun. 5, 2013

U.S. approves "new class" of diabetes drug, under review in Canada
The United States' recent approval of a new drug to treat type 2 diabetes has paved the way for its introduction in Canada. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved canagliflozin, a drug developed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and marketed by Johnson & Johnson under the brand name Invokana. The company has also filed a new drug submission with Health Canada, says Jennifer McCormack, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Canada.More

The blueprint for pharmacy: Our way forward
Blueprint for Pharmacy
The Blueprint for Pharmacy Steering Committee (BPSC) is pleased to make available the Blueprint for Pharmacy's latest report: The Blueprint for Pharmacy: Our way forward. Following the release of the Vision for Pharmacy in 2008, the profession of pharmacy has experienced unprecedented change. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across Canada are adapting the way they practice in response to this ever changing environment. More

B.C. issues warning after surge of deaths from illicit fentanyl
CTV News
British Columbia's health officer is blaming a street version of the powerful painkiller fentanyl for at least 23 deaths in the province this year. And he's advising health workers to be on the lookout for more people overdosing on the drug. Dr. Perry Kendall says 23 people have already died from fentanyl overdoses in the first four months of the year, compared to just 20 such deaths in all of 2012. More

Study suggests commonly used class of antibiotics linked to kidney damage
Winnipeg Free Press
A new study says commonly used antibiotics called fluoroquinolones appear to increase a user's risk of developing kidney injuries. The study says people taking the drugs have double the risk of developing kidney problems while they are on the medication than people who aren't taking these drugs. The authors say that in actual numbers that means an additional case of kidney injury for every 1,529 people taking oral fluoroquinolones.More

Study: Doubling the Tamiflu dose is not more effective in severe cases
Calgary Herald via The Canadian Press
A new study says doubling the dose of the flu medication Tamiflu does not make a difference in severe flu infections. The results will be disappointing for doctors who had hoped for another option for treating severe influenza, but should stretch out drug supplies during a pandemic. The research was conducted in 13 hospitals in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam from April 2007 and February 2010. More

Alberta becomes last province to fund insulin pumps
CTV News
It's something that Albertans with Type 1 diabetes have been awaiting for years. Diabetics in the province will be able to receive provincial funding for their insulin pumps. Health Minister Fred Horne made the announcement, saying the pumps and basic pump supplies will be covered through a new fund called the Insulin Pump Therapy program. Alberta is the last province in Canada to fund insulin pumps. But it's now the first in the country to offer the pumps with no age restrictions. More

Surgery wait times continue to drop across Saskatchewan
News Talk 650 CKOM
When you are in pain, any wait time is too long. "If you are in a lot of pain and you are waiting six months it's a long time. The faster we can get a person in, the safer we can get surgery and the procedure," said Maxine McLeod, a patient advisor. She spoke at the third-year release of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative progress report at Saskatoon's City Hospital. The report showed a dramatic drop in wait times throughout the province.More

Deadly new MERS virus spreads to Italy
National Post
Italy reported its first cases of the deadly MERS coronavirus on as three more people die in Saudi Arabia Sunday, bringing the kingdom's death toll to 24. A 45-year-old man who had recently returned from a 40-day visit to Jordan was hospitalized in Tuscany, Italy with a high fever, cough and respiratory problems, the country's health ministry said. Tuscan regional officials say that a young child who is related to the man and a work colleague also have the virus.More

Recall issued for 5 prescription drugs sold in Canada
CBC News
Four companies have announced the recall of several batches of prescription drugs in use in Canada. Health Canada said it has not received any reports of adverse effects related to the medications, and the recall is a precautionary measure. A statement released said that the decision was made after the four companies — Cobalt Pharmaceuticals, Laboratoire Riva, Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Sanis Health — consulted with Health Canada.More

Oral insulin: All mouth, or an injection of hope for type 1 diabetes?
Can oral insulin succeed where other alternative delivery methods have failed? Dan Stanton, from in-Pharmatechnologist.com assesses its chances. More

Smartphones help pharmacists
HQ Comox Valley
The Vancouver Island Health Authority is leading the way in using new technology: they have given all hospital pharmacists smartphones to help them do their jobs. More

Study: Some statin drugs do seem to raise users' risk of diabetes
The Canadian Press via CTV News
Some cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins appear to put users at an elevated risk of developing diabetes, a new study reports. The work, by Toronto scientists, suggests that higher potency statins increase the diabetes risk, while for lower dose statin brands the elevated risk is not seen. More

Jean Coutu to build $190 million headquarters in Varennes
The Gazette
Jean Coutu Group says it will spend nearly $190 million to build a new, larger headquarters and distribution centre in Varennes, QC. The Quebec-based pharmacy retailer says construction will begin next year and operations will begin to be transferred in 2016. The company says about 1,000 employees will be moved gradually to the new facilities.More