Story 1 Stemetil (prochlorperazine)

I was first alerted to this problem in November 2010 by one of my patients, a 50 year-old widow and mother, who was taking chemotherapy for metastatic cancer. The best drug to control her nausea was Stemetil (prochlorperazine), a generic drug so old that it was around when I was a student nearly 40 years ago. Her pharmacist told me that no Stemetil was available in our city of Kingston. Astonished by this news, I was even more dismayed when he said that he did not know why and suggested a more expensive brand name drug instead. We tried it, but it was not effective.

Why should a simple, old, effective remedy go missing in a country like Canada?

Since that time we have heard reports of shortages in drugs for anesthesia, depression, and cancer treatment. Some of these drugs were developed in Canada.

I began this website in August 2011 honour of brave Patient #1 — and since her death in 2012, I run it in her memory.