1,200 Canadian cancer patients possibly receive wrong dose of chemotherapy

WINDSOR, Canada (WXYZ) - Hundreds of cancer patients in Canada may have been given a watered-down dose of chemotherapy, meaning their cancer was not targeted as aggressively as doctors had prescribed.

Four Ontario hospitals are in the process of notifying nearly 1,200 patients that they may have received a lower-than-prescribed dose. The hospitals include: London Health Sciences Centre, Windsor Regional Hospital, Lakeridge Health and Peterborough Regional Health Care.

The two medications that were likely administered in lower doses were cyclophosphamide and gemcitabine.

Some patients may have received the wrong doses for up to one year.

Health leaders say the mistake happened at the supplier level. The drugs came from a company who was responsible for mixing and labeling the medication.

A pharmacist in Peterborough discovered the problem when testing the medication. Results showed the drugs were 20 percent less powerful than what was indicated on the label.

All hospitals have now removed medications that they received from the supplier and have obtained new supplies.

Experts say it's unclear how the mistake impacted patients' cancer treatment.

If you have questions, you can call the hospital where you received treatment. Contact information is listed below.

  • London Health Sciences Centre: 519-685-8805 or 1-855-464-3262
  • Windsor Regional Hospital: 519-255-8698
  • Lakeridge Health: 905-576-8711, ext. 6404
  • Peterborough Regional Health Centre: www.prhc.on.ca
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