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Drugs and Health Products

ARCHIVED - Questions from Retailers

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Questions:

  1. Do the Natural Health Products Regulations apply to retailers?

  2. How can I tell whether a product is compliant to these Regulations?

  3. Has the government made any projections of retail sales in natural health products over the next few years? new

Answers:

1. Do the Natural Health Products Regulations apply to retailers ?

No, the Natural Health Products Regulations set out requirements for manufacturing, packaging, labelling, storing, importing, distributing natural health products. This does not include the sale of natural health products by retailers.

2. How can I tell whether a product is compliant to these Regulations?

The NPN on the label is an indication that the product has been reviewed by Health Canada for safety, quality and health claims. For homeopathic medicines, the label will bear the designation DIN-HM. See details on product labelling in sections 7 to 10 in the Product Licensing Guidance Document.

3. Has the government made any projections of retail sales in natural health products over the next few years? new

In terms of the scope of this industry, Canadian sales are estimated at about $4.3 billion and to number around 40,000 to 50,000 products. Vitamins represent over 50% of retail sales, and involve over 18% of Canadian companies involved in the NHP industry. Herbs and botanicals represent another 30% of sales.

The NHPD undertook a benefit-cost analysis of the proposed Natural Health Products Regulations. This project was carried out prior to Canada Gazette, Part I (CGI) using the first draft of the proposed regulatory framework, "Seeking Your Input on a Proposed Regulatory Framework". The findings from the benefit-cost analysis were used to develop subsequent working drafts of the regulatory framework, as well as these Regulations. In addition, through targeted consultations with stakeholder groups (including consumers) and consultation feedback, significant information was gained by the Directorate with respect to benefits and costs from the industry and product user perspectives. A Business Impact Test (BIT) was also conducted from December 6, 2002 to January 22, 2003. Information packages were mailed to 2,300 stakeholders and 1,000 subscribers to the NHPD listserv were also advised of the Test, which was posted on the NHPD website.

In addition, the Directorate currently has someone developing a document on a cost recovery initiative for small businesses. This project includes analysis of the small business sector and a review of existing strategies for this sector.