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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 8, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta THS ItTrtBRIDGE HERAIO Tuo.Moy, Annul! 8, 1973 Research report Govt. By C.I.KNNIS Zll.SI OTTAWA (CP) An edito- rial published Icxlay in the jour- nal of the Canadian Medical Association argues thai govern- ment health authorities should cease promoting the idea that various brands at medication or generic-name drugs are inter- changeable. The editorial cites a research report in the same issue con- eluding that chemically-similar fcugs (rom different makers do health authorities told to cease promoting drug substitution idea __j ..nintinn mil Hint won nwarc for sor.iu lime lhat lit the department FRAME STYLES FROM AROUND-THE- WORLD P1ICAI PRESCRIPTION, COS not necessarily produce the mane results in paticms. The research report and guest editorial wore produced by six Montrc.il two of them with Aycrst l.abo- a dnig manufacturer, the others with Montreal Gen- eral Hospital. Aycrsl financed ttic research. The researchers say scientific evidence on studies on Hie amounts of ac- tive ingredient absorbed in the body for only begin- ning to available now. Stud- ies show that drugs considered chemically equivalent may turn up in blood and urine in differ- ent article and editorial ap pear to a renewed attack against legislation on the in five provinces. They permit substitution in drug pre scriptions. Also opposed are lists of interchangeable drug. published by Ihe federal and Jntario drug-kiting programs. The CMA and the Canadian .'hai-maceulicr.l Manufacturers' Association, both of which op- jose drug substitution, jiaios lo draw the editorial and he. article to the attention of the press in advance. In the- article, Catherine MacLeod, Harvey liabin, John liuedy, Michclc ('aron, Donald Zarowny and ii. 0. navies tested ihree types of an anti- biotic called ampicillin made by different manufacturers. All three brands hod been tested by the Ontario Pre- scriptions" At Reasonable Cost- called PAIlCosl- program and reported in a recent listing "equivalent." This meant that pharmacists in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Al- berta and Di-itisli Columbia would be to substitute one brand for another when lilinp the prescription unless Ihe doc lor specUic-ally ordered other- wise. Manitoba has legislation on the bonks, but it has not yet been proclaimed. However, when the six re- searchers did bioavailabilily tests to see It Ihe drugs pro- vided the same levels of medi- cation in the blood stream and urine of volunteers, they said they found wide variations. HKSUl.TS SlMI'Lll'lEI) With results simplified to a form similar to the brand A versus brand B type of tele- vision commercial the re- searchers found that one drug provided 100 per cent medica- tion in the blood and urine, one provided 78 per cent and Ihe other provided 72 per cent. The drug that provided the 100 per cent blood and urine levels happened to he the drug manufactured by Aycrst Labo- ratories, Hie firm which cm ploys IJrs. Davies and Za- rou-ny. The editorial said the federal government's drug testing pro- gram considers Unavailability of Ed per cent or more the standard for equivalence, so the two should nol lie on the lists. It also added that the BO per cent figure docs not seem appropriate for all drugs. In telephone interviews, Dr. Znrowny said such a low stand- ard would not be at all accept- able for drugs such as insulin, heart stimulants, anticonvul- sants and many others. Slight variations in the blood levels could have serious effects on the patients. This need not lie true in the case of most antibiotics, how- ever, he said. And the article s-iid that bioavailabilily ncec not related to the clinical ef- fectiveness of the three drugs. The researchers stress they EATON'S Buy Line 328-8811. Shop Thursday and Friday from 9 Til 9 USE YOUR COME TRUE CARD. ire merely pointing out thai urrent te.sls, which are In a slatu of (lux, need not he re- ible indicators for substitution mil that doctors, pharmacists inet patients should he aware of his. NOT AVAII.AIILF. I'AUCost spoksmon were not available for comment, but spokesmen for the federal drug quality assurance program said [hey were aware of the re- search and bad seen the results of the study, although r.ol the article. Dr. Dennis Cook said the gov- ernment's lesls reflect tl.i find- ings (hat they, at present, con- sider necessary for saying a drug is interchangeable. The lists provide information......much more than the doctors have ever had in Ihe chemical comparisons and pro- vide necessary information s Ibn develop- ment of industrial relations rn Ibo Province. A ro-exomin- alion of the existing legislation is considered necessary at this time in tho light of changing conditions, concepts ond altitudes which affect all persons in tho Province. Interested parlies or their representative! are invited to file with my office by September 1 1, 1972, six copioi of Iheir written submissions. Following consideration of the written submissions, Public Moorings will bo convened in Edmonton in order that Ihe public may havo (ho opportun- ity to engoo.0 in a further interchange of on this Important matter. Hon. Dr. A. f Hohol Minister of Manpower anrl labour Roam 423, legislative Building Edmonton, Alberta GOVERNMENT ;