Therapeutic Products Directorate

The Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) is Canada's regulator of prescription drugs and medical devices for human use. Before giving permission to sell a product, the Directorate must see scientific evidence of the product's safety, effectiveness, and quality, as required by the Food and Drugs Act and its Regulations.

On this page

What we do

The Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD):

  • reviews scientific information to assess the safety, efficacy, and quality of a prescription drug or a medical device
  • assesses the potential benefits and risks of a prescription drug or a medical device
  • reviews Clinical Trial Applications (CTAs) for prescription drugs and Investigational Testing Authorization (ITA) applications for medical devices to ensure that the studies are well-designed and that participants will not be exposed to undue risk
  • monitors the evolving safety of drugs in development through the review of adverse reaction reports that are submitted as a requirement the  Food and Drug Regulations
  • makes non-marketed drugs and medical devices available to health professionals for patients when conventional therapies have failed, aren't suitable, or are not available
  • provides Canadians with science-based medical information they need to make informed choices

Bureaus and offices

The Directorate contains 11 offices and bureaus:

Director General's Office

The Director General's Office approves the sale of prescription drugs and medical devices, and oversees clinical trials. As a leader in the directorate, the office is in charge of:

  • managing public relations and answering questions from the public
  • communicating with stakeholders in Canada and around the world
  • reporting the Directorate's work to senior officials in the department
  • overseeing and directing projects that manage the strategic vision, focus, and priorities of the Directorate and align them to those of the branch, department, and federal government

The Bureaus of: Cardiology, Allergy and Neurological Sciences; Gastroenterology, Infection and Viral Diseases; Metabolism, Oncology and Reproductive Sciences; and Medical Sciences all participate in urgent reviews for drugs under investigation by the Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch (ROE B). These bureaus share information about health issues and scientific advice with the public and health professionals. We also develop strategies for the safe use of these therapeutic products.

Bureau of Cardiology, Allergy and Neurological Sciences

This bureau performs clinical reviews of prescription drugs that relate to:

  • respiratory disorders (including drugs for allergy, cough, asthma, emphysema like antihistamines, antitussives, bronchodilators, corticosteroids etc.)
  •  cardiovascular disorders (including drugs for blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol, blood thinning like antihypertensives, blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering medications)
  • neurological disorders (including drugs for anaesthesia, pain, depression, psychosis like anesthetics, analgesics, antidepressants, antipsychotics etc.)

Bureau of Gastroenterology, Infection and Viral Diseases

This bureau performs clinical reviews of prescription drugs that relate to:

  • viral infections ( for example, treatment of  Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection); pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV; treatment of hepatitis C and/or B virus infections; prophylaxis and treatment of influenza virus; drugs for pandemic flu, drugs against other viral infections and systemic antifungal agents)
  • bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections, including antimicrobial resistant infections (for example, topical, oral, and intravenous antibiotics and other anti-infective drugs used to treat or prevent mild to severe infections of the ear, eyes, throat, skin, lungs, surgical sites, and other bodily systems)
  • gastroenterology (for example, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); chronic constipation/diarrhea; bowel cleansers used prior to colonoscopy; gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD); gastric and duodenal ulcers etc.)
  • ophthalmics (for example, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, dry eye syndrome etc.)
  • dermatology (for example, acne vulgaris, rosacea etc.)
  • contrast agents used in medical imaging
  • Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN);  prescription vitamins
  • antidotes

BGIVD also houses the Labelling Division which performs reviews of the information that is distributed with or accompanies the therapeutic product. This includes but is not limited to:

  • the label on the product package
  • the label on the product container
  • the Consumer Information section of the Product Monograph that explains what the medication is for, how to use it, and what the potential side effects are.<

Bureau of Metabolism, Oncology and Reproductive Sciences

This bureau performs clinical reviews of prescription drugs that relate to:

  • obstetrics, gynecology and urology (for example, birth control, intrauterine devices, fertility, bladder control, and sexual dysfunction drugs, etc.)
  • oncology (for example, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, alkylating agents, hormone antagonists, immunomodulation agents, etc.)
  • hematology (for example, iron chelating agents and iron supplements)
  • metabolic and musculoskeletal disorders (like glucose-lowering, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, osteoporosis, psoriasis, rheumatic, and gout drugs, and analogues of somatostatin, thyroid hormone, etc.)

Bureau of Pharmaceutical Sciences

This bureau reviews the quality and chemical composition of brand name and generic drugs submitted for approval. The bureau also reviews comparative clinical studies that claim to show the bioequivalence of brand name and generic drugs, to ensure that new versions of the brand name drug are as effective as the original version.

For marketed drug products, the bureau provides advice to:

We also respond to drug shortages by providing expedited reviews of medically necessary drug products.

Bureau of Policy, Science and International Programs

This bureau :

  • provides statistical consultation services to review bureaus
  • ensures that review bureaus have access to scientific advice
  • provides support on international files related to prescription drugs and medical devices
  • develops and implements guidance documents and policies
  • develops, maintains, and implements policy to support the Directorate's work

Bureau of Medical Sciences

This bureau provides medical review services to the review bureaus that relate to all clinical review areas (in particular, first-in-class drugs and priority review status determinations). We also:

  • conduct urgent reviews for drugs under investigation by the ROEB
  • share information about health issues and scientific advice with the public and health professionals and develop strategies for safe use of therapeutic products
  • work with related offices outside of the Directorate on issues that come up after a product is allowed to be sold, compliance and enforcement of regulations, and emergency preparedness
  • provide urgent reviews for drugs under investigation by the ROEB and help deal with drug shortages
  • manage the Drugs List for the Urgent Public Health Need regulatory pathway

Medical Devices Bureau

Medical Devices Bureau
This bureau reviews applications for:

  • new and amended medical device licences
  • the sale of medical devices for use in investigational testing

We provide expedited access to unlicensed medical devices under the Special Access Programme for medical devices for emergency situations or when conventional therapies have failed, are not suitable, or are not available. Our bureau also contributes to the policy and development of new medical device regulations and helps to clarify current regulations in collaboration with the Policy, Planning and International Affairs Directorate.

Office of Planning, Performance and Review Services

This office provides corporate support for the Directorate. We deliver project management services and logistical support for the review of scientific drug submissions. This includes the development of training, standard operating procedures, and documents supporting pre-market transparency.

We also:

  • hold regular meetings with stakeholders
  • provide responses to prescription drug enquiries
  • provide strategic integrated planning, performance measurement, and quality auditing services
  • manage contracts with scientists from outside of the Directorate
  • manage finances and funding in the Directorate

Office of Clinical Trials

This office provides clinical and quality (chemistry and manufacturing) reviews of Clinical Trial Applications for prescription drugs and some natural health products and monitors their safety while they are being used in clinical trials. We also review Special Access Programme requests for access to non-marketed drugs to treat medical emergencies when conventional therapies have failed, are not suitable, or are not available.

For more information

Contact us

Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3106B
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

General Enquiries

E-mail: hc.tpdgeneral-generaldpt.sc@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-957-0368
Fax: 613-952-7756
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Prescription Drug Enquiries

Email: hc.prescription.drug.enquiries-renseignements.drogue.ordonnance.sc@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-960-5093
Fax: 613-957-1483
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Bureaus

Bureau of Cardiology, Allergy and Neurological Sciences

Bureau of Cardiology, Allergy and Neurological Sciences
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3102C
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: bcans_enquiries@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-941-1499
Fax: 613-941-1668
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Bureau of Gastroenterology Infection and Viral Diseases

Bureau of Gastroenterology Infection and Viral Diseases
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 0202B
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: bgivd_enquiries@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-941-2566
Fax: 613-941-1183
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Bureau of Metabolism, Oncology and Reproductive Science

Bureau of Metabolism, Oncology and Reproductive Science
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 0202D2
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: bmors_enquiries@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-941-3171
Fax: 613-941-1365
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Bureau of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS)

Bureau of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS)
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 0201D
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: hc.bps.enquiries.sc@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-941-3184
Fax: 613-957-3989
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Bureau of Policy, Science and International Programs

Bureau of Policy, Science and International Programs
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3102C1
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: hc.policy.bureau.enquiries.sc@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-948-4623
Fax: 613-941-1812
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Bureau of Medical Sciences

Bureau of Medical Sciences
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3105B
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: hc.bmsenquiriesenquetesbsm.sc@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-948-8318
Fax: 613-948-8324
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Medical Devices Bureau

Medical Devices Bureau
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3002A
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9 

E-mail: hc.mdb.enquiries-enquetes.bmm.sc@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-957-4786
Fax: 613-957-6345
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

General inquiries

E-mail: mdb_enquiries@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-957-4786
Fax: 613-957-6345
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Medical Devices Premarket review & Medical Devices Standards

Device Evaluation Division

Telephone: 613-954-0297

Information regarding device recalls

Health Product Inspectorate
Telephone: 1-800-267-9675

Special Access Program for medical devices

Telephone: 613-946-8711.
E-mail: sap_devices_mdb@hc-sc.gc.ca
Fax: 613-957-1596

ISO 13485 Quality System requirements

E-mail: iso13485_cmdcas_scecim@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-957-4786
Fax: 613-957-6345

Offices

Office of Risk Management

Office of Risk Management
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 0700E
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: hc.orm.enquiries-bgr.sc@canada.ca
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Office of Planning, Performance and Review Services (OPPRS)

Office of Planning, Performance and Review Services (OPPRS)
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3106C
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: opprs_enquiries@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-941-1248
Fax: 613-957-1483
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Regulatory Project Management Division

Regulatory Project Management Division
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 0202D
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: rpm_division-gpr_division@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-954-6481
Fax: 613-941-6955
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Good Review Practices

Good Review Practices
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3106B
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: grp_bpe@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-957-6448
Fax: 613-957-1483
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

Office of Clinical Trials (OCT)

Drug Clinical Trials

Office of Clinical Trials (OCT)
Therapeutic Products Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch
Address Locator: 3105A
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

E-mail: oct_bec_enquiries_enquetes@hc-sc.gc.ca
Fax: 613-946-7996
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

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