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Medication shortage not affecting surgeries or outpatient procedures at Hamilton Health Sciences
March 14, 2012

Sandoz, a key supplier of essential drugs to hospitals across Canada, has been required by regulators to significantly slow its production. This is because Sandoz is in the process of making mandatory upgrades to its plant in Boucherville, Quebec.
This slow down has created a shortage of medications but, thanks to the hard work of many staff and physicians across Hamilton Health Sciences, we continue to manage well.

No surgeries or procedures have been canceled, nor do we expect to cancel any in the near future. This includes inpatient activities as well as outpatient activities such as endoscopy procedures (colonoscopies, for example.) All are proceeding as scheduled.
Hamilton Health Sciences will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure we understand the daily supply and demand of the medications at risk, and can react to that situation. Our leaders meet daily to ensure everyone across the hospitals understands the situation at each hospital site.

The drugs most impacted are injectable painkillers, anti-nauseants, anti-arrhythmics, anti-coagulants and anesthetics.

Our goal is to make the appropriate use of all the medications at our disposal, and to minimize the impact of the shortage on our patients.
There are many steps we’re taking to ensure an adequate medication supply, including:
• Recommending alternative medications where possible
• Recommending oral dose instead of injection medications where possible
• Working closely with our supplier to ensure supplies match needs.

In addition, we are connecting with other hospitals, the Local Health Integration Network, and provincial and federal government officials, all of whom are working together to manage this situation.

If patients have any questions, we urge them to speak with their primary medical caregiver.

We will be providing updates as they become available.
Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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