London Hospitals Manage Drug Shortage

Mar. 06, 2012

In response to supply shortages being experienced nationally as a result of reduced output from drug manufacturer Sandoz Canada, incident management protocols have been implemented at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s). The London hospitals are working closely to execute a highly coordinated action plan, in conjunction with other regional hospitals, to best meet the needs of patients. Both sourcing channels and clinical medication practices are being reviewed and adapted as needed to optimize supply of affected medications.

“With 2-8 weeks of supply on hand for the affected medications, the current situation is manageable and has required only minimal clinical adjustment at the London hospitals,” says Dr. Robin Walker, Integrated Vice President, Medical Affairs, LHSC and St. Joseph’s. “Thankfully, to date the number of medications in extremely short supply has been less than one dozen and our contingency planning has averted any problems. The situation is very fluid and we will continue to closely monitor supply to identify higher risk medications and implement mitigating strategies.”

Over 100 medication products manufactured by Sandoz Canada are used by LHSC and St. Joseph’s for various patient treatment plans including injectable narcotics, diuretics, cardiac medications, anesthetic agents and antibiotics.  The incident management teams, which include physician and patient care leaders, pharmacists and communications staff, are working closely with internal teams as well as all key stakeholders at the regional, provincial and national level to track usage of the affected medications and engage in a coordinated action plan.

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About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 136 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit

About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care London is leading patient care, teaching and research centre in Canada with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. For more information visit

For media inquiries:

Kelsi Break
Communication & Public Affairs
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
519 646-6100 ext. 64792

Michele Martin
Corporate Communications
London Health Sciences Centre
519 685-8500 ext. 77062

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