Public Forum on Breast Implants to be Held in September 2005

Monday, July 26 2010

OTTAWA, July 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh today announced that Canadians will have an opportunity to provide comment on the safety, risks, and benefits of silicone gel-filled breast implants currently under review by Health Canada, through a public forum in Ottawa on September 29 and 30, 2005.

"This event follows closely on Health Canada's recent public forum on selective COX-2 inhibitors, and demonstrates the Department's ongoing efforts to involve the public in its regulatory processes," said Minister Dosanjh.

Health Canada is taking a phased approach to reviewing and assessing these license applications of silicone gel-filled breast implants, with public input being an integral part of Health Canada's decision-making process. The expert advisory panel meeting and public forum are the second phase in the Department's review and assessment of these license applications, where groups and individuals can attend the forum in person and/or submit their comments by fax, by mail or online through the Health Canada Web site.

The public forum will allow Canadians to provide input to an Expert Advisory Panel. The Expert Advisory Panel has been established by Health Canada to provide advice on questions posed to them by Health Canada related to current licence applications from manufacturers to sell silicone gel-filled breast implants in Canada. The questions address emerging issues related to the safety and effectiveness of these devices. The panel includes scientific experts, who previously met on March 22 and 23, 2005. This was the first phase of our review process. The panel has now been expanded to include patient and consumer experts, who will bring a broader perspective to the issue.

"I am pleased to announce that Dr. George Wells has agreed tochair the expert panel," said Minister Dosanjh. "As a professor and departmental chair at the University of Ottawa, a senior investigator at the Ottawa Health Research Institute and chair of a committee of the Institute of Population Health, Dr. Wells is extremely well-suited to guide the work of the panel and of the public forum. The Department remains committed to considering all perspectives and to making decisions with regard to the licensing of silicone gel-filled breast implants that safeguard the health and safety of Canadians and allow them to make informed choices."

Health Canada routinely consults the public and stakeholders through surveys, focus groups, mailings, Web consultations, meetings and a science advisory board. Seeking advice from expert advisory panels is a regular part of the risk management process at Health Canada. Such panels generally review data and evidence on scientific subjects, meet to hear presentations, deliberate on specific questions and then provide advice that the Department considers in making regulatory decisions. Involving the public in this process reflects Health Canada's commitment to opennesss and transparency in its decision-making processes.

Health Canada has launched a Web site that provides further information on this public forum and allows people to participate online. The Web site can be accessed at:

For those without Internet access, an information package on how to participate in person or by mail or fax can be requested by calling toll free 1-866-558-2946
(from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

In addition to the Chair, the expert advisory panel membership appears as follows:

Hany E. Bissada, MB, Bch (Cairo U.), FRCPC, (Psychiatry)
Associate Professor, Psychiatry
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON

Madeline Boscoe, RN (Patient Expert)
Executive Director, Canadian Women's Health Network
Winnipeg, MB

Harold J. Brandon, D.Sc. (Materials Specialist)
Affiliate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Research Assistant Professor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Washington University Schools of Engineering and Medicine
St. Louis, MO

Michael A. Brook, Ph.D. (Chemistry)
Professor - Organosilanes and Silicones, Department of Chemistry
McMaster University Chemistry, McMaster University
Hamilton, ON

Mitchell Brown, MD, FRCPC (Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery)
Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon
Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Center
Toronto, ON

Brent Burbridge, MD, FRCPC (Radiology)
Academic Head, Department of Medical Imaging
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK

Paula M. Chidwick, Ph.D (Ethics)
Director of Clinical and Corporate Ethics / Ethicist
William Osler Health Centre
Brampton, ON

Michel Fournier, Ph.D.(Immunotoxicity)
Professor, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier
Campus Pointe-Claire
Pointe-Claire, QC

Jacob Karsh, MDMC, FRCPC (Rheumatology)
Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON

Sheila Lamb, RN, M.S.N. (Patient Expert)
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Vancouver Hospital & Health Science Centre
Vancouver, BC

Helen Mark, RN (Patient Expert)
Nurse Clinician
The Henrietta Banting Breast Centre,
Sunnybrook & Women's College Hospital
Toronto, ON

Diana Schreuer (Patient Expert)
Patient Navigator, Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program
President, Canadian Breast Cancer Network
Board Member, Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance
Halifax, NS

One expert in breast surgery/oncology is being recruited.

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