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Definition of Advertising: Advertisement includes any representation by any means whatever for the purpose of promoting directly or indirectly the sale or disposal of any food, drug, cosmetic or device.
Not all health productFootnote 1 messages are advertising. Health Canada's guidance document "The Distinction between Advertising and Other Activities" explains how Health Canada uses contextual factors to help determine whether a given message is information or advertising. If the message is an advertisement, it must comply with the advertising provisions of the Food and Drugs Act and associated regulations.
Any person who promotes the sale of a specific health product is subject to this legislation, including physicians when they use their Web sites or other means for this purpose.
Food and Drugs Act
Food and Drug Regulations
Additional information can be found in the document Health Products Advertising on Physicians Web Sites - Questions and Answers available on the Health Canada Web site.
Health Canada policies and guidance documents related to health product advertising can be found on the Health Canada Web site.
The Food and Drugs Act and Food and Drug Regulations can be found on the Department of Justice Web site.
Health products include prescription and non-prescription medications, biologics (including vaccines), natural health products, medical devices and radiopharmaceuticals. "Drugs", as defined in s. 2 of the Food and Drugs Act, include all of the preceding health products, except medical devices.