June 29, 2016

Sheryl Ubelacker, health writer for the Canadian Press, has written an article about the clobazam shortage. It's been picked up by the Star and CTV:

Canada-wide shortage of epilepsy drug reaches ‘crisis’ point

Read the story here

'Terrified': Shortage of anti-seizure drug a crisis for patients:
Read the story here

TVA Nouvelles (Piblié le 22 juin 2016)- des milliers de patients risquent de payer le prix d'une pénurie:>

( Dr. François Dudeau, Montreal Neurological Insititute, was interviewed for the TVA coverage):

Lisez L'histoire


Update: June 23, 2016

Canadian Epilepsy Alliance Drug Shortage Committee

Clobazam is in short supply, but this drug is still available at some pharmacies. If inventories have become low or depleted at your pharmacy, ask your pharmacist to recheck the status of both generic clobazam and Frisium (brand name) with their suppliers.

Distributors have started receiving shipments this week of generic clobazam (Apo-clobazam, Apotex Inc.). The new stock will be spread across the country. There may be restrictions on the amounts available to individual pharmacies until the supply situation stabilizes. A second replenishment of generic clobazam (Apo-clobazam, Apotex Inc.) is expected to arrive at pharmacies by early July. Sheryl Ubelacker, health writer for the Canadian Press, has written an article about the clobazam shortage. It's been picked up by the Star and CTV:

It is expected that there will also be periodic shipments of the brand name product (Frisium, Lundbeck LLC) over the coming weeks as well.

Health Canada will be working with pharmaceutical manufacturers and other stakeholders to monitor status over the summer.

I take clobazam, what should I do?

Continue to take clobazam as indicated by your health care professional.


  • do not skip doses
  • do not take less than the prescribed amount
  • do not make any changes in your treatment without medical advice  

Contact your pharmacist and ask them if they will be able to refill your perscription. If inventories are low, the pharmacist may provide a partial refill initially.

Develop a management plan with your pharmacist and your healthcare provider in case clobazam is not available. You can share the following clinical management suggestions with your healthcare team:

Clobazam Shortage/ Pénurie de clobazam

Ff your pharmacy is unable to refill your prescription- ask your pharmacist:

  • have they exhausted all avenues to try and find clobazam for you?
  • have they searched for generic clobazam and brand name clobazam (Frisium)?

If it is necessary to make changes to your treatment plan due to the shortage:

  • ask for a copy of the new treatment instructions in writing
  • go over the information with your pharmacist
  • ask your pharmacist to explain the information again if the instructions are not clear

Continue working with your pharmacist and your health care provider until the situation is resolved in order to manage your epilepsy disorder in the safest, most effective way possible.

If you have any questions please contact Epilepsy NL: 709-722-0502


What is being done to prevent this from happening again?

The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance/Alliance canadienne de l’épilepsie is committed to helping people with epilepsy maintain access to a safe, consistent and reliable supply of antiseizure medication. We will continue to advocate for (i) prevention of antiseizure drug shortages and (ii) improved management when shortages cannot be averted.

If you are concerned about this situation as well, please take a few minutes to write to your Member of Parliament and provincial representative (MHA) to share your concerns. Explain how a drug shortage affects you and your family. Find your Member of Parliament (MP) and Find your provincial representative. 


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Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador is a registered charity founded in 1983. It is the only epilepsy organization serving the province and representing more than 10,000 men, women, children, and their families, who are living with epilepsy. The association is funded by donations; 100% of which remain in the province to help develop programs and services dedicated to the promotion of independence and quality of life for all people with epilepsy and their families.

About 300,000 Canadians (1 % of the population) are affected by epilepsy
In one year, an average of 14,000 people learn they have epilepsy.
Each year, 1 in 2000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy
The prevalence of epilepsy in persons over the age of 65 is approximately 7%: 1 in 14 seniors.
Each day in Canada, an average of 38 people learn they have epilepsy.
60% of new patients are young children or seniors.

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