The Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act was published in November 2014 (known commonly as Vanessa’s Law). It amends the Food and Drugs Act to include new rules that increase the regulation of therapeutic products and mandates the reporting of adverse reactions by healthcare institutions. In addition, these measures intend to modify Health Canada's ability to collect post-market safety information and take action when a serious health risk is identified.
As part of the Federal Budget 2023, Health Canada proposed to amend the Food and Drugs Act under Bill C-47 to extend the use of Vanessa’s Law to natural health products. Bill C-47 received Royal Assent on June 22, when Division 27 of Part 4 amended the Food and Drugs Act to extend measures regarding therapeutic products to natural health products.
This means the government has the power to require information, tests or studies, to require a label change/package modification, and to recall unsafe therapeutic products.
CHFA believes that protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority, and that the regulations prior to June 22, 2023 that included seizures, stop sales, cancellations and suspensions of licenses were sufficient. Any amendment to the Food and Drugs Act to extend the use of Vanessa’s Law to NHP’s should have been properly studied, discussed and debated with industry and stakeholders.