Jun 04, 2013
By Michael Kramer
A legislative committee looking into diluted cancer drugs has heard that Marchese Hospital Solutions was charging far less for drug mixtures than the previous supplier.
The New Democrats say they believe that it was a major factor that prompted Medbuy, the bulk purchaser, to switch to Marchese to supply hospitals with the drug mixtures.
The Marchese bags containing cyclophosphamide and gemcitabine had too much saline, in effect watering down the prescribed drug concentrations by up to 20 per cent.
Just over 1,200 cancer patients in Ontario and New Brunswick received the diluted drugs, some for as long as a year.
Marchese has said it prepared the drugs the way it was asked to under its contract and under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
But Medbuy, which arranged the contract with the hospitals, said Marchese didn’t meet the contract’s requirement to provide an exact concentration of the drugs in the saline solution.