Mr. Speaker, 10 minutes goes by very fast. I was barely able to touch on that very important issue. I do think this is why we need to have proper inquiry.
A number of reports, some of them American, have come out and given us some information on why these shortages are taking place. I did try to illuminate some of the causes or reasons.
Some of the drug companies say it is a problem with getting some raw materials, and so the production side and actually assembling what is needed is a problem. I think that needs to be investigated.
I do think there is an issue, and I have certainly been reading about this, with the increasing number of mergers of these drug companies in recent years. That means there are now fewer companies that are producing. Certainly the issue of sole-source supply is also a cause of concern and something that needs to be investigated. We saw this issue with the H1N1 vaccine when the federal government was scrambling to find an adequate supply.
There is also an issue, and there have been many queries and concerns about this, that this is so reliant on the marketplace. To me, this is in the public interest and it is imperative that the federal government intervene. When we leave it to market production and see mergers and issues with generic brands possibly being decreased in favour of more profitable brands, this is not serving the needs of patients.
These are all factors that contribute to the shortage that we are seeing and that need to be investigated with a proper reporting mechanism and a proper inquiry.