Self-care product consultation summary: Saskatoon, Vancouver

Public consultation sessions to discuss the modernization of self-care product regulation were held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on April 4, 2017, and in Vancouver, British Columbia on April 5, 2017.

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Consultation summaries

To modernize self-care product regulation in Canada, we asked consumers and other stakeholders for input on a policy proposal.

We thank everyone who participated in these sessions. The feedback provided will continue to shape the regulation of self-care products in Canada.


Overall, 22 participants attended the consultation in Saskatoon while 95 participants attended in Vancouver. People who attended the consultation included:

  • academics
  • consumers
  • health professionals
  • business representatives

To protect the privacy of consultation participants, their names will not be shared.

Key issues discussed

During the consultation we delivered a presentation on both the context of the sessions and the policy proposal, including:

  • product classifications based on a two-class categorization system of risk level including safety and failed product efficacy
  • acceptable claims within each of the two classes
  • unique label identifiers and statements on labels to help consumers easily identify products
  • compliance and enforcement measures to address safety concerns

Feedback: what we heard

We have included a brief summary of what we heard from participants at the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Vancouver, British Columbia public consultation sessions.

Consultation and engagement

Participants at the public consultations said they:

  • had a fair opportunity to be heard
  • found the meetings to be productive
  • appreciated the roundtable discussions, but would have liked more time
  • felt grateful for the open and diverse forum with an engaging dialogue
  • appreciated hearing from Health Canada and having the opportunity to express their views

Participants at the public consultations want Health Canada to:

  • promote the public consultation sessions better
  • share information in advance of the sessions
  • deliver evening sessions to ensure consultations are accessible to Western Canadians

Policy Proposal

Participants at the public consultation said the policy proposal should:

  • include consumer awareness and education activities
  • consider that natural health products should not be classified with non-prescription drugs or cosmetics (some participants)
  • provide Health Canada the ability to enforce the rules and conduct inspections, which are important to the regulatory framework
  • include unique identifiers to assist industry exporting products to other jurisdictions
  • provide more clarity on many of the terms used, and offer more information on the proposal, to better inform policy discussions
  • consider that some participants felt a two-class product system could oversimplify the current market for self-care products, while others supported a two-class system

For more information

Health Canada – Health Products and Food Branch
Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate
250 Lanark Avenue, A.L. 2003C
Ottawa, Ontario,
K1A 0K9


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