On June 9, 2014
In 1998, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health concluded that NHPs are not drugs and should not be legislated as such. In line with this recommendation, NHPs have been regulated since 2004 under the Natural Health Product Regulations and these regulations are among the most rigorous in the world.
In an effort to update the Food and Drugs Act, the Standing Committee is currently studying Bill C-17, commonly known as Vanessa’s Law. This well-considered bill will strengthen the laws for Canada’s pharmaceutical industry and for Canadian consumers. CHFA supports this bill in its current form because it exempts NHPs. Recent considerations by the Committee to include Natural Health Products (NHPs) with drugs in the bill are highly ill-considered, out of line with the Committee’s previous work, and not consistent with the low-risk profile of NHPs.
CHFA’s ultimate goal is to ensure that there are appropriate regulations and legislation in place for NHPs and treat them separately from drugs. Therefore, CHFA supports the exclusion of NHPs from Bill C-17 and commends the government for recognizing the relative low-risk profile of NHPs.
Imposing Bill C-17 on our NHP industry will do nothing to promote the health and safety of Canadian consumers. Consistent with the 1998 Standing Committee on Health’s recommendations, NHPS are not drugs and Bill C-17 should maintain its focus on protecting Canadians from unsafe drugs.