Natural health products
- Health Canada regulates natural health products (NHPs) so that Canadians can have confidence that the products they use are safe, effective and of high quality.
- Health Canada is committed to regulating NHPs under the Natural Health Products Regulations, which means NHPs are not subject to non-prescription and prescription drug requirements.
- Labels are an important tool to assist Canadians in making informed health choices when selecting and using NHPs.
- Health Canada is proposing amendments to the Natural Health Product Regulations, to make NHP product labels easier to read and understand. These proposed changes support consumers in selecting and safely using NHPs.
What are Natural Health Products?
Under the Natural Health Products Regulations, which came into effect on January 1, 2004, natural health products (NHPs) are defined as:
- Vitamins and minerals
- Herbal remedies
- Homeopathic medicines
- Traditional medicines such as traditional Chinese medicines
- Other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids
NHPs must be safe to use as over-the-counter products and not need a prescription to be sold. Products needing a prescription are regulated as drugs under the Food and Drug Regulations.
What Information can you find here?
This section contains natural health product information tailored to reach a wide-ranging audience.
- Guidance Documents - on all aspects of regulatory requirements
- Applications and Submissions - application forms, guidelines and templates
- Natural Health Products Online Solution - apply online for licenses and authorizations
- Fact Sheet - Schedule A Health Claims for Natural Health Products
- Licensed Natural Health Products Database
- NHPD monographs
- Quarterly Snapshot
- Self-care products
How self-care products, including natural heath products, cosmetics and over-the-counter drugs, are regulated in Canada.
Health Canada's Role
Through the Natural Health Products Directorate, Health Canada assures that all Canadians have access to a wide range of natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality.
We assess all natural health products before allowing their sale in Canada. We also check that NHPs are properly manufactured (without contamination or incorrect ingredients). And we do post-market monitoring to make sure that NHP Regulations are being respected.
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