Ongoing sale of unlicensed Natural Health Products is undermining consumer confidence

OTTAWA, April 13 /CNW/ - A recent Health Canada surveyi showing that consumer confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of natural health products may be declining underlines the urgent need to finalize implementation of the Natural Health Products Regulations, according to Consumer Health Products Canada, the association representing Canada's evidence-based consumer health products industry.

"The results of the Health Canada survey are entirely consistent with the findings of our own research, which shows that more than nine out of ten Canadians expect Health Canada to ensure the safety and effectiveness of all natural health products before they reach the market," said CHP Canada spokesperson Gerry Harrington. "We share that expectation and believe that full enforcement of the Regulations will build consumer confidence in the long-term."

Health Canada has accomplished much since the Natural Health Products Regulations were introduced in 2004. Over 36,000 natural health products (NHPs) have been licensed. Licensed products have been reviewed by Health Canada to ensure that there is appropriate evidence to support their safety and effectiveness and to ensure that they are manufactured to a high standard of quality.

Unfortunately, due to strong opposition to the Natural Health Products Regulations from some sectors of the NHP industry, Health Canada has not yet proceeded to full enforcement of the Regulations. This means that unlicensed products continue to be sold alongside legal products in many retail outlets. CHP Canada believes that the ongoing sale of noncompliant products is undermining consumer confidence in all NHPs.

"We are calling on Health Canada to enforce the Regulations so that Canadian consumers can be sure that the NHPs they buy are safe, effective and of high quality," said Harrington.

Until such time as Health Canada enforces full compliance with the Natural Health Products Regulations in all retail outlets, Canadian consumers should know that the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities has taken the position that Canadian pharmacies should only sell products that comply with Health Canada's regulations.

CHP Canada is a 115-year-old trade association representing the consumer health products industry, including the manufacturers of natural health products and over-the-counter remedies.

iConfidence in natural health claims in decline: Survey, Sarah Schmidt, Postmedia News, http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Confidence+natural+health+claims+decline+survey/4603371/story.html

SOURCE Consumer Health Products Canada/CHP Canada

For further information:

or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Gerry Harrington
Director of Public Affairs
Consumer Health Products Canada
Tel: (613) 723-0777
Fax: (613) 723-0779
Cell: (613) 863-3716
e-mail: gerry.harrington@chpcanada.ca
www.chpcanada.ca
twitter.com/CHP_Can


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