"Recent surveys have shown that more than one-half of Canadian consumers regularly take vitamins and minerals, herbal products, homeopathic medicines and the like, products that have come to be known as natural and non-prescription health products (NNHPs)."
"These products are used to prevent, diagnose or treat disease, restore or correct function, or maintain or promote health. NNHPs may be derived from plants, animals or micro-organisms."
(Reference: Health Canada, Health Products and Food Branch, Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate, Expert Advisory Committee on Natural and Non-prescription Health Products. 2001. Quoted, with bold font added, from the November 2003 (issue 7) Health Policy Research Bulletin of Health Canada).
Think about the following questions:
These questions have led to the creation within Health Canada of a new Office of Health Products, now known as the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate, to establish new regulations and policies addressing the unique nature of NNHPs, with the goal of ensuring safe, effective and high quality products, while respecting Canadians' freedom of choice, and philosophical and cultural diversity.
The new Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Regulations were published in June 2003, in Canada Gazette, Part II, and came into effect on January 1, 2004, with a transition period for phasing in and compliance. The regulations provide details regarding: definitions, product licensing, adverse reaction reporting, site licensing, good manufacturing practices, clinical trials involving human subjects, types of evidence and claims, and labelling and packaging requirements.