An Important Notice to Patients and Families About Chemotherapy Medications

Posted on Tuesday April 02, 2013

We recently became aware that two chemotherapy drugs used for some of our patients was incorrectly prepared by the manufacturer.  This has resulted in under-dosing of patients in four hospitals across Ontario, including 37 patients in our cancer centre.

Patients who were affected are being notified directly by our staff.  Most of our patients impacted would have received one, and some two, treatments with under-dosed medications. Gemcitabine doses that were affected were administered between March 12th and March 20th, 2013, and affected Cyclophosphamide doses were administered on March 18th, 19th and 20th, 2013. 

Under-dosing of chemotherapy medication is sometimes prescribed by a physician in order to minimize side-effects during a treatment regimen.  While such under-dosing is not expected to have any significant impact on treatment or outcomes for our patients, these particular instances should not have happened.

Lakeridge Health is working with Cancer Care Ontario and the other affected hospitals to resolve this matter and ensure continued safety for our patients. 

Here is what we have done:

  • All of the affected products received from the drug manufacture have been removed.
  • We’re securing appropriate supplies of these medications for future use. Treatment cycles should not be disrupted during this transition.

We understand that this situation may add to the concern of worry of people already facing the challenges of chemotherapy treatment, and we are very sorry.

Please know that as a result of this issue we have taken every precaution to prevent such errors from reoccurring.

Patients who would like to discuss this with our staff can contact our hotline at 905-576-8711 ext. 4655