Roger Collier | CMAJ | January 19, 2018

  • Processed foods still contain too much salt despite voluntary sodium targets being in effect for four years, reported Health Canada. Targets set by the federal government have been met in only 14% of food categories, and there was no meaningful progress in 48% of food categories.
  • Ontario prisons will no longer place inmates with mental health disabilities in solitary confinement except under exceptional circumstances. The change will be mandated in the province’s 26 correctional facilities.
  • Quebec may change its cannabis legislation to put limits on THC concentration. The province’s psychiatric association warned of an increase in patients with symptoms of psychosis after using marijuana.
  • Some naloxone kits distributed to clinics and pharmacies in Alberta don’t contain any vials of naloxone. Alberta Health Services received the kits from a third-party company and doesn’t know how many kits are affected
  • A survey of young Canadians who consumed energy drinks found that half of respondents reported adverse reactions, according to a study in CMAJ Open. The reactions include elevated heartbeats, difficulty sleeping and headaches.
  • There is a shortage of 0.3 mg EpiPen auto-injectors, warned Health Canada. Pfizer Canada attributed the shortage to a manufacturing problem and noted that 0.15 mg EpiPens remain available.
  • Vancouver should provide a safer supply of opioids to residents who use drugs to reduce the city’s overdose death rate, recommended physicians with Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control. More than 300 people in the city died from drug overdoses in 2017.
  • The Ontario Medical Association will meet with a panel of arbitrators in May in an attempt to secure a contract with the Ontario government, reported the Toronto Star. The province’s 20,000 doctors have been without a contract for four years.
  • Tilray Canada signed a deal with Shoppers Drug Mart to supply the pharmacy chain with medical cannabis. Shoppers Drug Mart, which hasn’t yet received government approval to dispense cannabis, already has deals with two other medical marijuana producers: MedReleaf and Aphria.
  • The mental fitness test used to assess US President Donald Trump was created by a Lebanese-Canadian doctor named Ziad Nasreddine. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment uses simple prompts to detect mild cognitive impairment.

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