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Testosterone shortage

Health Canada fails to act as drug shortages impact trans men

January 6, 2012 |

An ongoing drug shortage is causing a hassle for trans men and other users of injectable testosterone.

Mary Potter is a registered nurse with the Sherbourne Health Centre’s LGBT Primary Care Program. She says the most important thing for users to know is that they have other options for medication.

“The issue is when they don’t come to see us or… they’re told by the pharmacy that they just don’t have it and people are waiting without the medication,” she says.

Waiting, rather than finding an alternative drug, can result in a lapse of the medication’s effects. “They should be coming in to see their physicians or nurse practitioners because they can be switched to a different compound.”

She says that this is the second time a shortage of the drug has happened this year. “We actually had a recent problem with Delatestryl being back ordered; there was an issue with the raw material in the summer,” Potter says.

Five pharmacies in Toronto were asked about the availability of Delatestryl. All the pharmacists contacted said the drug was on back-order.

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Alvaro Orozco, behind the glass

One Nicaraguan refugee claimant’s struggle with the law

May 19, 2011 | Xtra! Canada

Alvaro Orozco smiles from behind the glass barrier as he picks up the phone to start our interview at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre. He hits his hand against his forehead and sighs when asked if he remembers the names of the officers who arrested him on May 13.

“No,” he says. “I should have.”

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Sex-work legal battle leaves women without recourse

“Business as usual” for Ontario police leaves some sex workers unsure about their safety

August 4, 2011 | Ryerson Free Press

The legal battle over sex-work laws went to the Ontario Court of Appeal this month, causing some sex workers and advocates to start asking what will happen next in what they describe as a fight for safer working conditions.

Morgan Page, trans sex-work outreach officer at the 519 Community Centre, is not optimistic. She says she expects the court system to draw out the stay for as long as possible before new, potentially harsher regulatory practices are discussed in the House of Commons.

Page suspects that the stays the government is requesting will be granted “after exhausting as much time as they possibly can…that appeal will be appealed by whoever didn’t win, and it will keep being appealed until it eventually gets to the Supreme Court of Canada where we will have the actual decision.”

That decision may not look as good as sex workers had originally hoped, said Page. “The Harper government is not going to back down all of a sudden. That would be political suicide for them.”

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