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Roger Collier | CMAJ | July 27, 2018

  • A Canadian clinical trial involving pregnant women was stopped after similar research in the Netherlands led to an increase in newborn deaths. The Dutch study of Viagra’s affects on promoting fetal growth was stopped after 17 children were born with lung problems and 11 died.
  • The federal government announced $30 million in funding to support health care services in Yukon, including home care and services for mental health and addiction. There will also be $25.6 million invested over four years to support health system innovation in the territory.
  • The recent Health Canada recall of 28 blood pressure medications has led to a proposed class-action lawsuit against five Canadian pharmaceutical companies. The proposed lawsuit alleges the companies were negligent in their manufacturing practices and quality-control testing.
  • Immune-resistant strains of HIV in Saskatchewan are causing illness quicker than strains in other areas of Canada and the United States, according to research out of British Columbia. Saskatchewan HIV rates are among the highest in North America, and 80% of people with HIV in the province are from Indigenous populations.
  • Half of teenage girls in Ontario exhibit signs of moderate to serious psychological distress, according to a survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Female students are more than twice as likely as males to report poor mental health, elevated stress and thoughts of suicide.
  • The new Ontario government was accused by the NDP of cutting $335 million in planned spending on mental health services. “The premier has cut $2.1 billion over four years and replaced it with $1.9 billion over 10 years,” stated NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
  • The Quebec government announced that it will not allow dentists to withdraw from the public health system. The government and dentists are in contentious contract negotiations, and 2000 dentists filed paperwork to withdraw from the public system.
  • The government of New Brunswick is considering legal action against the pharmaceutical industry to recoup health care costs associated with the opioid crisis.  The government stated that “there is some evidence that pharmaceutical companies and distributors may have engaged in some activities that led to the opioid crisis, including deceptive advertising and misrepresentations.”
  • The government of Nova Scotia announced it will add the HIV-prevention drug PrEP to its pharmacare program. The decision was based on recent news that the number of new HIV cases in the province has spiked in 2018.
  • The Ontario government billed the Quebec government $92.5 million for health care provided to 58,000 Quebec residents in 2017, according to a recent report. The Ottawa Hospital alone accounted for $30.7 million, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario saw the most Quebec patients (18,624).

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