Health Canada

Health Canada

March 12, 2009 13:04 ET

Government of Canada Takes Further Steps to Improve Safety of Health Products

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 12, 2009) -

Backgrounder on MedEffect Canada (

The Government of Canada has launched a new social marketing campaign encouraging Canadian consumers to use MedEffect™ Canada to report suspected side effects from health products and access the latest safety information.

MedEffect Canada allows health professionals and consumers to easily complete and file reports on adverse reactions via web, phone, fax or mail. The website also provides the most recent and reliable health product safety information.

"We know that the under-reporting of side effects is a problem worldwide," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "MedEffect™ Canada makes it easy to report suspected side effects, and for us to improve product safety for all Canadians."

The new social marketing campaign stresses that increased reporting of side effects contributes significantly to the safe use of health products, such as prescription and non-prescription drugs and natural health products. Currently, less than 10 per cent of suspected side effects are reported.

As part of the marketing campaign, Health Canada is distributing a brochure entitled A Patient Guide for Reporting Side Effects from Health Products (, which will be displayed at partner pharmacies across the country, including: Metro Ontario Pharmacies Limited, Canada Safeway, Costco, Familiprix, Zellers, Katz Group (Rexall/PharmaPlus), London Drugs, Lovell Drugs, uniPHARM Wholesale Drugs (Medicine Centre Pharmacies), Remedy Drug Stores, Walmart Canada and Uniprix.

The campaign also includes ads in newspapers and medical journals across the country to promote the importance of reporting side effects, and distributing a health professional guide ( to reporting side effects.

You can report any adverse reactions associated with the use of health products to the Canada Vigilance Program by one of the following three ways:

- Online at the MedEffect™ Canada website (;

- By completing the Canada Vigilance Reporting Form ( available on the website and mailing it postage-paid ( or faxing it toll-free to 1-866-678-6789;

- By calling toll-free to 1-866-234-2345.

Consumers can find the latest communications about health product safety issues on the MedEffect™ Canada website ( or receive them automatically by subscribing to the MedEffect e-Notice.

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    Public Enquiries:
    1-866 225-0709