Father sues Shoppers Drug Mart over daughter's death

A Calgary father is suing Shoppers Drug Mart over his daughter's death nearly a year ago.

Marit McKenzie, 18, got controversial acne medication Diane-35 from pharmacy

A Calgary father is suing Shoppers Drug Mart over his daughter's death nearly a year ago. 2:28

A Calgary father is suing Shoppers Drug Mart over his daughter's death nearly a year ago.

Marit McKenzie, 18, died after taking Diane-35 — a drug used to treat acne which also works as an oral contraceptive because it halts ovulation.

Marit McKenzie, 18, died after taking Diane-35, a drug prescribed for acne. Her father, Brian McKenzie, is now suing Shoppers Drug Mart, claiming the pharmacy should have made it known the drug can cause blood clots. (Courtesy of Brian McKenzie)

But Health Canada says is not approved for use in Canada as an oral contraceptive. 

Bruce McKenzie says the family was unaware that Diane-35 could cause blood clots.She died last January after suffering four cardiac arrests, a pulmonary embolism and a brain hemorrhage.

"Shoppers Drug Mart said that this medication might cause dizziness or headaches or nausea. But they failed to say that this drug might kill somebody from a blood clot, which all the other pharmacies that we pulled information from, that was the No. 1 thing they said."

The lawsuit claims the drug store was negligent in providing the proper information about the risks associated with Diane-35.

Bruce McKenzie says Shoppers Drug Mart should have made the family aware that Diane-35 could cause blood clots. (CBC )

Shoppers Drug Mart issued a statement Wednesday. 

"The death of this young woman is a tragedy and we extend our condolences to the McKenzie family for their loss," reads the statement. 

"As partners in Canada’s health-care system, pharmacists work together with Health Canada, drug manufacturers and doctors to inform and counsel patients on the appropriate use and safety of their medications."

The company wrote that they declined to comment further as the case was before the courts.

Health Canada warnings

Health Canada has issued three warnings about the drug.

It also alleges the pharmacy was negligent because it continued to renew McKenzie’s prescription despite Health Canada warnings to consumers about those risks.

"The reality is that Health Canada has put out three warnings about this drug since its inception in 1998," said McKenzie.

"Two days after my daughter died Health Canada put another warning on their website about this drug."

McKenzie says he decided to go ahead with the lawsuit to raise awareness about this issue.

Statement of Claim

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With files from Jen Lee/CBC