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NHP’s Are Not Drugs

NHP’s Are Not Drugs

We see Natural Health Products (NHPs) everywhere: the grocery stores, drug stores and health food stores. There are endless varieties of effective, high-quality supplements, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbal products,homeopathic medicines and traditional medicines on the shelves. They can be used all sorts of health reasons, such as preventing or treating an illness or condition, or even reducing health risks. Around 77% of all Canadians use NHPs daily to maintain overall good health. Health Canada is proposing changes to the regulations that could affect the ease of which Canadians buy NHPs. If passed, the regulations would classify NHPs as drugs.

Canada is known to be a global leader in the regulation of NHPs. Health Canada assesses all NHPs before they are sold in the Canadian marketplace to ensure they are safe, effective and of high quality. Classifying NHPs as drugs will be detrimental to the marketplace. Check out some of the potential detrimental differences below!

If NHPs are Drugs:


a. If products are considered Low Risk:

  • Only certain ingredients allowed
  • Products go straight to Market
  • Claims: limited or Not allowed
  • Disclaimer needed “This Product has not been reviewed by Health Canada”
  • Examples: Cosmetics, toothpaste, mouthwash, vitamin and mineral products

b. Medium and High

  • Must be approved by Health Canada prior to sale
  • Claims: Allowed Only with Scientific evidence
  • Labelling: Only approved Claims only
  • Examples: Topical and oral pain relievers, cough and cold products , or products that contain new medicinal ingredients
2. Claims can only be based on Scientific Evidence
  • Other evidence not allowed, only science based data
3. Increased costs will occur to cover science based testing on products that have a long history of use
  • Innovation decreased
  • Products may disappear if new standard of evidence is comparable to drugs

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