Drug used for heart tests in short supply in Canada

Canada is in short supply of critical drugs used in heart tests, so patients will have to wait longer to find out if they have coronary artery disease, Toronto-based doctors say. talk.

An antiplatelet drug called dipyridamole is used to artificially relax the heart’s arteries and dilate them so that doctors can monitor blood flow through the heart muscle during stress testing. It is often used in patients who cannot exercise for examinations due to mobility problems or who have cardiovascular problems. This test is also known as a myocardial perfusion scan.

Dr. Christopher Overgaard, director of invasive cardiology at the Southlake Community Health Center, told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday that the shortage would force doctors to delay perfusion scans of their patients. said the shortage was a “big problem”.

“We would have to radically change which patients are prioritized. And it would be no fun to have to do that. Because there is,” Overgaard said.

Across Canada, patients are experiencing long wait times for essential medical procedures and tests, and some have died while waiting for help.

At least 13,581 patients will die while waiting for surgery, procedures or diagnostic scans in 2021-2022, a 23% increase from the previous year, according to the report. Report from Published December 2022.

Overgaard said this drug shortage could force some patients to wait even longer to get the treatment they need.

sudden shortage

Health Canada announced. Shortage of dipyridamole injection because of june Delayed production by manufacturer Fresenius Kabi CanadaAccording to Canada’s drug shortage. The company reported that contract customers will receive 50% of “historical monthly demand” before the shutdown takes effect from Aug. 1 to 18.

This is Canada’s second major heart drug shortage in recent months. A nitroglycerin spray, which is used to treat pain and improve blood flow, has been used. It has been out of stock since the end of February.

Classified as Tier 3 for its importance, the low supply came as a surprise to Overgaard, who runs a heart clinic in Toronto.

“It just came out of nowhere, so we were all very surprised by this,” Overgaard said, noting that he first heard about the shortage after ordering multiple tests on his own. I explained that it was from the lab.

“We’re going to get a call from our own lab and say, ‘Unfortunately, because of this delay, we can’t do this test in a timely manner,'” he says.

Health Canada will allow the importation of dipyridamole from the United States until late August to alleviate shortages of this critical drug in the country.

“It’s not really clear to us or users why this is happening,” Obergaard said. “This seems like a common ‘supply chain problem,’ but we, as end users, don’t know.”

The Toronto-based doctor said the number of patients being screened for heart disease and heart disease has increased since the pandemic began.

To hear the full interview, click the video at the top of this article.

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