Regulation of non-prescription drugs
Find out how non-prescription drugs are regulated and licensed.
On this page
- About non-prescription drugs
- List D: List of Certain Non-prescription Drugs for Distribution as Samples
- For more information
Non-prescription drugs, also called over-the-counter drugs, are health products that can be bought without a doctor's prescription.
Canada regulates non-prescription drugs to:
- make sure they're safe to use
- reduce health risks to Canadians
Identifying non-prescription drugs
Non-prescription drugs require a valid Drug Identification Number (DIN) to be sold in Canada. On a product label, this number indicates the drug has met our requirements for:
The label lists the drug's ingredients, so Canadians can avoid those that may cause concern.
Canadian companies that manufacture, package, label and import non-prescription drugs must:
- be licensed for these activities
- provide the necessary documents and evidence
A licence is provided after a satisfactory inspection.
If a health and safety problem is reported after a drug is on the market, we will:
- take corrective action
List D: List of Certain Non-prescription Drugs for Distribution as Samples
Amendments to regulations now permit the distribution of specific low risk non-prescription drugs as samples under certain conditions. To view the lists of drugs that can be distributed directly to consumers, please visit the following link:
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