Statements & Speeches

Health Canada’s Clinical Trial Database (Question Period)

May 30, 2019

Hon. Judith G. Seidman:  Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and relates to Vanessa’s Law.

In March, Health Canada released a publicly available, searchable clinical information portal for clinical trial information on drugs and medical devices. Over two months have passed since its launch and this database still contains just two records. Health Canada indicated that more data would be posted after the final regulations were published on March 20. As of this morning, there were still only two records in the entire database, one under “Drugs” and one under “Medical Devices.”

Senator Harder, how useful is a database if it contains hardly any data? When will Health Canada provide additional information to this portal as was promised back in March?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. I will make inquiries and report back.

Senator Seidman: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Honourable senators will remember that last summer a Federal Court ruling found that Health Canada appeared to contradict the purposes of Vanessa’s Law by withholding clinical trial data from a medical researcher.

Senator Harder, is the lack of information in the new portal another sign of Health Canada’s unwillingness to live up to the spirit and intent of Vanessa’s Law?

Senator Harder: Again, senator, without accepting the premise of your question, I will make inquiries and report back.