The advertising preclearance system

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The role of advertising preclearance agencies

To ensure that advertising material meets Canadian regulatory standards for advertisements for drugs and medical devices, advertising preclearance agencies (APAs) provide review and preclearance services.

Independent APAs:

Criteria for agencies reviewing and preclearing advertising material

Advertising preclearance agencies have to ensure that they comply with Health Canada’s criteria if they want to be recommended by Health Canada. To be recommended, they must possess and make publicly available, in both official languages, their:

Additional criteria include providing:

Who deals with complaints about health product advertisements

Recognized advertising preclearance agencies reviewing and preclearing advertising material directed to health care providers adjudicate complaints related to this type of advertising.

Health Canada adjudicates complaints related to:

Health Canada publishes a summary table of health products advertising incidents . 

This table:

The aim of publishing this table is to:

You are encouraged to share this information with members of your association if applicable.

For additional information on this initiative, contact the Marketed Health Products Directorate.

List of Canadian advertising preclearance agencies

Different agencies are responsible for the preclearance of different products and different target audiences.

Agencies that preclear advertising material for all health products directed to health care providers

Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board
Commissioner
1305 Pickering Parkway, Suite 300
Pickering, Ontario
L1V 3P2
Telephone: (905) 509-2275
Fax: (905) 509-2486

Agencies that preclear advertising material for non-prescription drugs and natural health products directed to consumers

Ad Standards Canada
Vice President, Advertising Standards Canada Clearance Services
175 Bloor Street East,
South Tower, Suite 1801
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3R8
Telephone: 416-961-6311
Fax: 416-961-7904

Extreme Reach Toronto
Director, Clearance and Verification Services
635 Queen St. East
Toronto, Ontario
M4M 1G4
Telephone: 416-778-5597
Fax: 416-778-5989

Agencies that provide advisory opinions on messages directed to consumers for prescription drugs and on educational material discussing a medical condition or disease

Ad Standards Canada
Vice President, Advertising Standards Canada Clearance Services
175 Bloor Street East,
South Tower, Suite 1801
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3R8
Telephone: 416-961-6311
Fax: 416-961-7904

Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board
Commissioner
1305 Pickering Parkway, Suite 300
Pickering, Ontario
L1V 3P2
Telephone: 905-509-2275
Fax: 905-509-2486

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a source to consumers and to industry in order to make informed choices when selecting a preclearance agency for the review of advertising material.

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