Celebrating men’s contributions to the Canadian medical landscape

Celebrating men’s contributions to the Canadian medical landscape

International Men’s Day, celebrated annually November 19, is a day dedicated to men and their health.

The World Health Organization estimates the Canadian suicide rate to be 10.7 per 100, 000 people with three times more men than women dying by suicide each year. These are alarming numbers. International Men’s Day aims to put a stop to these numbers by bringing recognition to male suicide and male health in general. One way we can all help is to acknowledge and celebrate the men in our lives. Celebrate the significant contributions men have made and continue to make at home, at work, in their communities and across the world. In honour of this day, we have put together a list of significant medical advancements made in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry by some men who deserve celebration:

  • 1921: Drs. Banting and Best, Collip and Macleod discovered insulin, revolutionizing the treatment of diabetes and giving the Canadian scientific community its first Nobel Prize.
    • Express Scripts Canada Pharmacy fact: We use a complex system for managing and delivering refrigerated items, including insulin. All refrigerated products are sent with a 2-day business guarantee in coolers that have been packaged with refrigerated gel packs to ensure the temperature is maintained between 2°C-8°C degrees during shipment.
  • 1961: Dr. Harold Copp discovered calcitonin—a hormone that inhibits the release of calcium from the bones—now used to treat osteoporosis, Paget's disease of bone and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • 1967: Dr. Henri Breault developed the first childproof medication cap in Windsor Ontario, which contributed to the reduction of childhood poisonings by 90%.
  • 1975: Dr. Raymond Lemieux synthesized the sugar molecule found on the surface of type B blood cells. His research led to improved treatments for haemophilia and leukemia, and new antibiotics and anti-rejection drugs.
  • 1989: Dr. Bernard Belleau developed lamivudine—a potent antiviral medication that is an important component of HIV/AIDS treatment.
  • 2006: Drs. Hertzel Gerstein and Salim Yusuf found that rosiglitazone reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60%.
  • 2007: Dr. Michel Tremblay and his research team discovered a diabetes drug could slow or even stop the growth of breast cancer tumours by blocking an enzyme found in 40% of women with the disease.
  • 2009: Dr. Russell Jones and a Canada/U.S. research team discovered that the diabetes drug metformin may be able to make vaccines and cancer treatments more effective.

These are just some of the male contributions that have helped shape, transform and revolutionize the Canadian medical landscape. Thank you to these men and thank you to all men for the contributions they have made and continue to make to help make our world a better place.