Vanessa’s Law moves closer to approval .

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Vanessa’s Law moves closer to approval thanks to Oakville MP Terence Young

MP vows to keep working on improving drug safety measures

Article first appeared in the Oakville Beaver

Oakville MP Terence Young announced Wednesday, the drug safety bill, Vanessa’s Law, which bears his late daughter’s name, has passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons after receiving unanimous support from all parties.

It is now on its way to the Senate for consideration.

The proposed Drug Safety Bill C-17 (Vanessa’s Law) will commit Health Canada to a set of concrete initiatives that would make easy-to-understand regulatory health and safety information more available to Canadians with regard to prescription drugs.

The information is intended to help Canadians make well-informed decision concerning their health and that of their family.

The bill is named after Young’s daughter, Vanessa Young, who died of a heart arrhythmia at the age of 15, after suffering from an adverse reaction to a prescription drug.

“Once implemented, Vanessa’s Law will save innumerable lives each year in Canada, and prevent tens of thousands of injuries,” said Young in a press release.

“It is difficult to overstate the importance of this bill to patient safety.”

Young said Vanessa’s Law (Bill C-17) would give the Minister of Health new tools to better respond to drug safety issues, such as the power to recall unsafe drugs, impose stiff financial penalties, and require mandatory adverse reaction reporting by healthcare facilities.

He said the amendments to the bill are expected to enhance transparency concerning Health Canada’s regulatory decisions, information regarding clinical trials, and the scope of confidential business information and disclosure.

If passed, Vanessa’s Law would provide new tools to make pharmaceutical drugs, biologics and medical devices safer for Canadians, said Young.

Canada’s Minister of Health Rona Ambrose also weighed in on Vanessa’s Law, stating it would allow the federal government to take drug safety to a new level.

“With the amendments brought forward by my colleague Terence Young, it would now also provide Canadian patients and safety experts with information they have long been calling for,” said Ambrose in a press release.

“I will also personally ensure that Health Canada continues to find ways to be more open and more transparent with Canadians each and every year. I’ve made that commitment. We will be looking at further steps to ensure that crucial drug safety information is made available to Canadians.”

Young referred to Vanessa’s Law as a generational change and said his daughter would be pleased to know that her loss of life led to the Government of Canada acting to prevent others from suffering the same fate.


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