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August 21, 2019: Newsletter: Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act - What It Means for You

The Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act is also known as Vanessa's Law. Vanessa's Law regulations will require hospitals to report serious adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents to Health Canada. This mandatory reporting will give Health Canada more information about the safety of drugs and medical devices. Educational materials have been developed to support mandatory reporting of serious adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents. Read more ...

July 31, 2019: News Release: ISMP Canada supports Long-Term Care Public Inquiry Recommendations

News Release (Toronto)  –  ISMP Canada supports the recommendations released today in the Long-Term Care Public Inquiry Report. The focus of the report is to ensure improvements to the care and safety of long-term care residents are made; a goal that is consistent with ISMP Canada's commitment to advancing medication safety in all health care settings.

"Our thoughts today are with those affected by these circumstances and the tragic deaths that occurred." said ISMP Canada CEO Carolyn Hoffman. "ISMP Canada was pleased to contribute expertise to the work of the Inquiry and we acknowledge Justice Gillese and her team for their in-depth review and strong recommendations for improvement."  Read more …

July 31, 2019: Educational Support for Mandatory Reporting of Serious Adverse Drug Reactions and Medical Device Incidents

The Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act, also known as Vanessa’s Law, is intended to increase drug and medical device safety in Canada by strengthening Health Canada's ability to collect information and to take quick and appropriate action when a serious health risk is identified. It will be mandatory for hospitals to report serious adverse drug reactions (serious ADRs) and medical device incidents (MDIs) to Health Canada, effective December 2019. Read more …

July 31, 2019: Focus on Never Events: Medication Safety Self-Assessment

ISMP Canada and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute would like to thank all those who took part in our pilot of the Medication Safety Self-Assessment: Focus on Never Events (MSSA - Never Events) in December 2018 and January 2019. We have incorporated comments received during the pilot and are pleased to announce the launch of this assessment program. In addition, in response to feedback from pilot participants, we have developed a separate version of the assessment program for the long-term care setting. This is ISMP Canada's 11th MSSA program; unique to this iteration of the MSSA is its focus on key pharmaceutical “never events”, as well as safety strategies targeted to high-alert medications. Read more …

.:Canada's National Incident Data Repository for Community Pharmacies

ISMP Canada established a national incident data repository for community pharmacies through its community pharmacy incident reporting program. Community pharmacies in several provinces are already contributing to this national repository for continuous quality improvement, and pharmacies in other provinces are considering participation in this effort as well. The repository is helping to create a more cohesive information-sharing system that will facilitate better understanding of medication incidents and the development of more robust strategies to prevent harm.  Read more ...


August 6, 2019: Survey of Manitoba pharmacists underway: gathering information about medication disposal practices

ISMP Canada is conducting a survey of Manitoba pharmacists for the Health Product Stewardship Association (HPSA). The goal of the survey is to learn how community pharmacists in Manitoba currently manage the collection and disposal of unused and expired medications from members of the public, the information that is provided to patients and how HPSA can better support pharmacists with the Medications Return Program. The survey closes on August 16. To participate or learn more -

July 31, 2019: Career Opportunity: Director of Education - Contract Position

ISMP Canada is looking for someone who is a recognized and well-connected leader in developing and implementing education programming for the health care system. If you're ready to build upon our current online and in person medication safety learning opportunities to achieve our vision of Zero Preventable Harm From Medications, we'd love to consider you for this position. It is essential that you have demonstrated experience in quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, teaching, developing online learning modules, and in leading small but high performing teams. The timeline for responding to this posted position is August 19th. For more information visit

July 24, 2019: Newsletter -  Mistaken Identity  –  A Recurring Problem

Ever wonder why it is important that pharmacy staff ask for your birthdate, address or other identification every time you pick up a prescription? It's a way to help make sure that medication is handed to the right person. continues to receive reports about consumers accidentally receiving another person's medication. In one example, a consumer went to the pharmacy to pick up her medication. But the medication had mistakenly been given to someone else with the same name. The person who received the medication by mistake now had the consumer's information, such as her prescription history. Read more ...

June 27, 2019: Health Canada: Fluoroquinolones and the Potential Risk of Aneurysms and Dissection of the Aorta

      Fluoroquinolones - Assessing the potential risk of aneurysm and dissection of the aorta
      Fluoroquinolones - Évaluation du risque potentiel d’anévrisme et de dissection de l’aorte

June 26, 2019: Palliative Care: A Multi-Incident Analysis

As defined by the World Health Organization, palliative care is an "approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual". Many patients receiving palliative care have complex symptom control needs and are receiving multiple medications (including high-alert medications such as high-potency opioids). If medication errors do occur, the consequences may lead to worsening of symptoms or unnecessary suffering, and may even hasten death. A multi-incident analysis was conducted to identify some of the complexities contributing to medication errors in this vulnerable population.  Read more ...