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 Products Regulations, to make NHP product labels easier to read and understand. These proposed changes support consumers in selecting and safely using NHPs.
For industry information about COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Disinfectants, sanitizers, cleaners and soaps section.
Natural Health Products
Under the Natural Health Products Regulations, which came into effect on January 1, 2004, natural health products (NHPs) are defined as:
- Herbal remedies
- Vitamins and minerals
- 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 do not need a prescription to be sold. Products needing a prescription are regulated as drugs under the Food and Drug Regulations.
- Manufacturers of hand sanitizers using technical-grade ethanol
- Labelling of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, soaps and cleaning products in the context of the COVID-19 response
- Technical-grade ethanol for the manufacture of hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Risk assessment summary report
- Suppliers of technical grade ethanol for use in the production of hand sanitizers
- Health Canada’s decision to temporarily allow technical grade ethanol for the manufacture of hand sanitizers – Notice to industry
Forms, templates and guidance documents
- Natural Health Products Online System – natural health product application forms and guidelines
- Natural Health Product Licensing – Forms and templates
- Natural Health Products Site Licensing – Forms
- Clinical Trials – Forms and templates
- Guidance Documents - on all aspects of regulatory requirements for natural health products
- Guidance for Industry on Third-Party Issuance of international Trade Certificates
- Fact Sheet on Schedule A Health Claims for Natural Health Products
- Licensed Natural Health Products Database
- NNHPD monographs
- Self-care products regulation
How self-care products, including natural heath products, cosmetics and over-the-counter drugs, are regulated in Canada.
- Contact the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate
- Lists incorporated by reference
Health Canada's Role
Through the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate, Health Canada provides Canadians access to a wide range of natural health products that are safe, effective and of quality.
We assess all natural health products before allowing their sale in Canada. We also verify that natural health products are properly manufactured (without contamination or incorrect ingredients). We monitor companies involved in natural health products to make sure they respect the Natural Health Products Regulations.
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