Health

Shoppers Drug Mart has sights set on in-house blood tests

Canada’s one-stop shop for toothpaste, Tylenol, and toilet paper is hoping to add medical tests to that list.

Zyn is in, and Health Canada is worried

Out: Worrying about youth vaping. In: Worrying about youth Zyn-ing.

Driving the news: Flavoured nicotine pouches have been a godsend for Big Tobacco as it shifts away from cigarettes. But a recent investigation into the sale of Zyn brand products has forced Philip Morris to pause U.S. online sales of the super-popular nicotine pouches. 

Predicting heart attacks with AI

The problem: If someone with chest pain gets a computed tomography (CT) scan that shows no immediate danger, they might not be out of the woods — in the U.K., roughly two-thirds of people who get sent home eventually have a major cardiac event, like a heart attack.

Canadian psychedelics head down under

A Canadian psychedelic producer run by the son of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has cleared a big regulatory hurdle, despite using mushrooms with names like “Albino P**** Envy.” 

Driving the news: Per Bloomberg, Vancouver-based drug manufacturing startup Optimi Health has received a licence from Health Canada to ship its MDMA and psilocybin pills to Australia for patient use, putting the company among a select group of legal suppliers. 

Canada has a huge new vaccine plant

 Pharma giant Sanofi unveiled Canada’s largest vaccine production facility yesterday. The Toronto plant will produce shots for whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus, giving an immediate boost to the country’s pretty lacklustre vaccine supply chain.

Stem cells could cure diabetes

The problem: Diabetes can cause serious complications, even with proper insulin treatments to manage the disease. A man in China, for example, needed a kidney transplant and was losing function in his pancreas after living with Type 2 diabetes for 25 years.

Weight loss shot hits the market for $199

Weight-loss drugs may not just be for the rich, famous, or generously-insured for much longer. 

What happened: Hims & Hers, a U.S. online pharmacy, will sell an injectable weight loss drug that uses semaglutide, the same active ingredient as Ozempic and Wegovy. 

Vape juice has a toxin problem

It may be less harmful than smoking a cigarette, but new research shows that vapes are pretty unhealthy in their own right. 

Driving the news: A new study has found that flavoured vape liquids (which is pretty much all of them) can produce more than 100 toxic chemicals when inhaled, all of which can cause serious physical harm. 

B.C. rolls back legal public drug use

Don’t do illicit drugs in public in B.C. It’s, once again, illegal. And also, ya know, dangerous.

What happened: B.C. re-criminalized public drug use after the feds approved the province’s request to reverse part of the decriminalization pilot. 

Wegovy comes to Canada

After filling doctors' prescription pads in the U.S., Wegovy is taking its talents north of the border. 

Driving the news: Novo Nordisk’s weight loss drug Wegovy will be available in Canada starting today, a move that will relieve the high demand for Ozempic, a sister drug also owned by Novo, and boost Canadians' access to both treatments.