Canada’s Med-Mal Insurance May Not Cover Internet Drug Sales

January 6, 2004

The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), which provides malpractice insurance to doctors in Canada, is on the verge of announcing it will not cover lawsuits generated by Internet drug sales, even if those suits are launched in Canadian courts.

An article in the Canadian Press by Helen Braswell indicates that the CMPA has already informed its members it will not defend or pay out claims made if lawsuits relating to Internet drug sales are filed in U.S. courts. The stricture became effective Jan. 1 and is part of a broader policy involving lawsuits filed against Canadian doctors outside the country.

It’s now considering applying the same provision for Internet drug sale-related suits, even if they are filed in Canada. CMPA Executive director Dr. John Gray confirmed that the proposal was under active consideration, but said no firm decision had yet been taken. He told the CP, however, that “there is considerable likelihood that we will go as far as to say we will not assist.”

The medical protective association is the body that defends Canadian doctors involved in lawsuits and pays out any compensation awarded in those suits. Doctors are assessed an annual fee for the insurance-like service, which covers about 95 per cent of Canada’s physicians.

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