Les Nouvelles et Questions courantes

Canadian Breast Cancer Network says Cameron Inquiry Report indicates huge system failure

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March 5, 2009

"A huge system failure needs a huge system change that includes input from breast cancer survivors” is the unanimous response of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) to Justice Margaret Cameron’s report released Tuesday in St. John’s.

CBCN President Diana Ermel says: ‘This is not a regional problem, it is a national one. The CBCN strongly supports the Cameron Report recommendation for not only provincial but national standards and would like to see actions and steps taken to implement systemic changes with uniform standards in Canada as a necessary step to begin to restore confidence in the medical system by women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.”

To read the whole statement, visit the site.

HPV vaccine a tough sell in parts of Canada; vaccination rates high in Quebec

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March 2, 2009

CALGARY - Government HPV vaccine programs for girls have been rolling out
across the country for more than a year now, but they're still a tough sell
for some Canadians.

All 10 provinces as well as the Yukon have implemented programs to provide
the Gardasil vaccine which protects against four strains of human
papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of genital warts and the agent
behind about 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases.

Governments have embraced the vaccine, but some parents, social commentators
and religious leaders have weighed in with concerns about its long-term
safety and efficacy. This has left a number of parents with reservations
about whether to have their daughters vaccinated.

Read the complete story here.

Lawsuit over Evra contraception patch settled

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February 27 2009
CTV.ca News Staff

Janssen-Ortho Inc. has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit started by Canadian women who claimed they were injured by the Evra contraceptive skin patch.

The women alleged that Janssen-Ortho failed to adequately warn them and their doctors about Evra's association with an increased risk of developing blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, strokes, heart attacks and deep vein thrombosis.

On Friday, Janssen-Ortho agreed to settle the claims on an individual basis, without admitting liability. They are also prepared to settle any other valid claims that are brought forward.

Read the complete story here.

Breast cancer risk, HRT link confirmed

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February 5, 2009


Globe and Mail

A woman taking hormone replacement therapy for the treatment of symptoms of menopause will see her risk of breast cancer drop sharply as soon as drug use is discontinued, according to a new study.

The research, published in today's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms that the longer a woman takes HRT, the greater her risk of breast cancer, and that after five years' use the risk doubles annually.

See the complete story.

Mothers with hypertension or diabetes up to six times more likely to deliver preterm

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January 29, 2009

In 2006–2007, more than 54,000 babies across Canada were born preterm or small for their gestational age (SGA), according to new analysis from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). This represents one in seven Canadian births.

During the year studied, the Canadian preterm birth rate (born before 37 weeks gestation) was 8.1%, or almost 29,000 births, up from around 6.6%i in the early 1990s. The rate of small for gestational age births (babies born with a weight below the 10th percentile for their gestational age and sex) was 8.3%, down from approximately 11%i in the early 1990s. 

Read the full media release.

21st Anniversary of the Morgentaler decision

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January 28, 2009

On January 28, 2009, Canada celebrated the 21st Anniversary of the Morgentaler decision, the Supreme Court’s ruling that decriminalize abortion, by striking downCanada's abortion law as unconstitutional.

Since 1989, Canada has become one of a small number of countries without a federal law restricting abortion. Additionally, abortion is a safe, legal, and insured service.

For more information about abortion in Canada, visit our website.

Read the press release.

Hormone therapy challenged

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January 24, 2009


If a model of airplane crashed more often than expected, what would happen if the manufacturer funded new guidelines saying the data on crashes had been reanalyzed, and short trips are perfectly safe (HRT Safe To Treat Menopause, MDs Say - Life, Jan. 23)? Would The Globe report "Airplane Safe For Short Trips, New Guidelines Say" without going into detail on the source of the funding for the guidelines?

The six authors of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada guidelines declare 59 conflicts of interest involving drug companies, mainly as speakers, consultants and advisory board members. Would the guidelines have been so critical of evidence of harm of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had they been independent?

Read the full story in the Globe and Mail.

Read a related story by Sharon Kirkey.

More funding for Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network good news, say national groups

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January 21, 2009

The Canadian Women’s Health Network (CWHN) and Women and Health Protection (WHP) applaud the recent announcement by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq that Canada’s Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network established in July 2008 will receive major additional funding from the federal government.

Read the press release.

Government of Canada Continuing to Support Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network

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January 14, 2009

TORONTO - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced that the Government of Canada is continuing to support the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN), first announced in July 2008.

"Canadians can be confident that this Government is taking the steps necessary to ensure that our drug safety system remains one of the best in the world," said Minister Aglukkaq. "The Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network complements Canada’s rigorous pre-testing of new drugs by studying how Canadians respond over time to already-approved drugs. The results will help in decision-making and enhance overall consumer safety."

Read the press release.

Nobel Corruption Probe Launched

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Swedish anti-corruption agents are investigating allegations that
pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca influenced the awarding of this year's
Nobel Prize in medicine. Scientist Harald zur Hausen won a Nobel Prize in October for finding links between human papilloma viruses and cervical cancer.

AstraZeneca holds the patents on ingredients in the vaccines Gardasil (made by Merck) and Cervarix (made by GlaxoSmithKline) used to fight the human papilloma viruses.

For more, read the story in The Star.

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