June 2013

Health and Safety

US approves “new class” of diabetes drug, under review in Canada

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved canagliflozin, a drug developed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and marketed by Johnson & Johnson under the brand name Invokana, on Mar. 29.

The company has also filed a new drug submission with Health Canada, says Jennifer McCormack, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Canada.

Minister Raitt engages stakeholders on occupational health and safety

In Canada, every year, close to 1 000 workers die as a result of work-related accidents. According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, the construction industry accounted for close to a quarter (23.3 percent) of all workplace fatalities between 2008 and 2010 – the highest of any industry.

In her remarks, Minister Raitt highlighted the Government of Canada’s commitment to working with unions, employers, provinces, territories, and experts to raise awareness of and improve occupational health and safety regulations.

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety enters partnership with Government of Nova Scotia to offer free e-learning courses to Nova Scotia workers

As part of its new workplace safety strategy announced on March 20, the Government of Nova Scotia has partnered with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to provide Nova Scotia citizens free access to CCOHS’ e-learning courses on topics of occupational health and safety.

Harper Government respects community concerns with new legislation for Supervised Drug Consumption Sites

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, accompanied by the Honourable Minister Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, announced the Harper Government has introduced the Respect for Communities Act, which would require any potential applications for supervised drug consumption sites in Canada to meet clear criteria before such applications can be considered.

Government of Canada Highlights Successes of New Process for Natural Health Products

With the ever increasing demand for more natural health products, the Canadian government is investing resources into building process and strategy for new natural products. "By reducing the burden for authorizing those natural health products that we know a lot about, Health Canada can focus its efforts on evaluating the more complex ones," Dr. Carrie said at the Canadian Health Food Association Trade Show in Vancouver.

Chinese bird flu outbreak monitored by B.C. health officials

Health authorities in B.C. are monitoring the latest outbreak of bird flu in China, but so far there are no signs the virus called H7N9 is spreading to North America.

"We are watching this very closely," says B.C. Centre for Disease Control Epidemiologist Dr. Danuta Skowronski.

Hospital sterilization: How problems slip through

The discovery that a Quebec hospital failed to properly sterilize an endoscope for eight years points to a need for tracking and reporting whether hospitals are following stringent cleaning practices, a medical expert says.

Related story: Quebec hospital wants 1,000 patients to come in for HIV, hepatitis tests

Human Resources

More Employers Demand Quality Or Lower Health Plan Pay

With the nation’s employers being either unwilling or unable to pay for higher health care costs, they are being more demanding when it comes to what they pay their vendors. That means 31 percent of employers said they now “decrease or increase health care vendor compensation based on specific performance targets,” according to a new study of nearly 800 large to mid-sized U.S. employers that provide benefits to more than seven million people, according to a new study by Aon

When the job description doesn't match reality

Six in ten employees have found aspects of a new job differed from the expectations that they acquired during the interview process. This is the finding of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of US careers site Glassdoor earlier this year.

Workplace bullies, and how to beat them

The engineer for a multinational company endured a torrent of abuse from a foul-mouthed boss who was no stranger to complaints about inappropriate office conduct. ''He had experiences like coming into a meeting and the boss literally yelling, screaming, swearing and finger-pointing at him, picking up a bag and throwing it across the room,'' recounts employment lawyer Ian Heathwood.

Should you just “trust your gut” in job interviews?

From personality tests to panel interviews – it’s only a matter of time before someone decides completing an obstacle course is the best way to assess applicants.

However, one US CEO has said he keeps interviews short, and relies heavily on his gut reaction.“The goal of my interview is, first, to assess the person’s passion — the biggest asset an employee can bring,” Tom Szaky from TerraCycle said. “Then, I look for someone who is comfortable taking risks and who is eager to face the challenge of doing something that seems impossible. Finally, I push candidates on why they want to join us — even, sometimes, encouraging them to look for a job that might pay more or be closer to home.”

Government of Canada invests to help recent graduates get jobs

The Government of Canada announced funding to help a recent graduate in North Bay to gain the skills, knowledge and experience needed to enter and succeed in the job market. The announcement was made by Jay Aspin, Member of Parliament for Nipissing–Timiskaming, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Harper Government invests in projects to support Canadian seniors

Seniors across the country will soon have new opportunities to use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to continue to make a difference in their communities through the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), made the announcement today while speaking to members of The Salvation Army in Vancouver.

“Our government recognizes the diversity of skills, knowledge and experience seniors contribute to our society and the economy,” said Minister of State Wong. “Through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, we are taking action to help seniors maintain a high quality of life and continue to be active members of their communities.”


Risk of acute kidney injury associated with the use of fluoroquinolones

Case reports indicate that the use of fluoroquinolones may lead to acute kidney injury. We studied the association between the use of oral fluoroquinolones and acute kidney injury, and we examined interaction with renin–angiotensin-system blockers.

Wait time and primary care reforms stalled

Shortening wait times for hip and knee replacements, increasing electronic health records and starting a national pharmacare strategy are stalled, according to a new progress report.

"Regardless of where you live in Canada, Canadians should be able to access a primary care provider when care is needed, they should have timely access to surgeries, and the cost of medications should not cause undue financial hardship," Dr. Jack Kitts, chair of the Health Council of Canada, said in a release.

X-ray technician suspended for refusing hepatitis vaccine

Some people in Doaktown are fighting the suspension of the community's X-ray technician, who refused to get a hepatitis B vaccination.

Janet Hughes says she previously accepted mandatory vaccines for measles, tetanus and whooping cough.

But she refused the hepatitis B injection because she believes she was infected with hepatitis C when she was younger and feared the vaccine might cause a negative reaction.

Hospitals slow to learn from own mistakes – Only a tiny fraction of medical errors are reported

Anyone who has experienced the chaotic environment of a hospital has an acute sense of the many things that can go wrong. In a typical visit, most patients encounter dozens of small oversights — from a misspelled name on a medical chart to a misscheduled diagnostic test.

For Rupinder Pannu, the error was more serious. She left the delivery room of the Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, Ont., after giving birth to a baby boy in July 2008 with an object inside her that shouldn't have been there.

Product Recalls and Advisories

 Health Canada’s review recommends codeine only be used in patients aged 12 and over June 2013

Foreign Product Alerts: Flutulang, Kapsul Gaut (Asam Urat), and True ProLife Vegrow June 2013

Foreign Product Alerts: Libigrow XXXtreme, Blue Diamond, Blue Diamond Platinum, Mojo Nights Supreme, and Casanova June 2013

Various lots of five prescription drugs recalled due to product quality issues May 2013

Cetrotide (Cetrorelix for Injection) - Increased Reconstitution Time for Four Lots of Cetrotide 3mg - For Health Professionals May 2013

CHAMPIX (varenicline tartrate) and ZYBAN (bupropion hydrochloride) - Revision to the Consumer Information of Non-Nicotine Smoking Cessation Aids - For Health Professionals May 2013