Non-prescription Drug Action Plan

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About the action plan

Health Canada is committed to simplifying market access for non-prescription drugs.

As a first step, we developed the Non-prescription Drug Action Plan. This action plan advances the concepts of the self-care framework. The framework is part of our plans to reduce burden where possible and align the level of oversight of non-prescription drugs based on their level of risk.

The action plan introduces policy and operational solutions to remove barriers for getting non-prescription drugs to market. The Non-prescription Drug Action Plan excludes:

As is the case with many regulators globally, the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays to our regulatory plans. These plans include a proposal to amend the Food and Drug Regulations related to simplifying market access for non-prescription drug products.

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Policy and operational approach

Through the action plan, we are proposing a number of policy and operational solutions, which will be aligned with the principles of the self-care framework. These do not require regulatory changes.

These solutions will expedite market access for non-prescription drugs by:

The solutions will not affect the health and safety of people in Canada who rely on these products.

Health Canada will implement the solutions in 3 phases:

As we implement each solution, we will be updating the action plan. We will also be providing additional information (for example, in the form of notices and updated guidance documents).

Short-term solutions

Medium- to long-term solutions

Work is under way to advance medium- and long-term solutions. We will publish notices about this work once it is completed.

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Information on regulations:

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