Three-year plan will further reinforce transparency with more initiatives to inform and engage Canadians
OTTAWA, June 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today announced the next phase of Health Canada's Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework, a three-year plan with new commitments to further increase Health Canada's transparency and openness. The plan builds on what has already been accomplished in the first year of the Framework and charts the path forward for making more information available and easier to understand in 2015-2018.
Key commitments planned for the next three years include expanding the information available in the Drug and Health Product Register to include a wider variety of products and information, and enhancing the Drug and Health Product Inspection Database to include more information on Health Canada inspection activities.
The Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework, announced by the Minister in April 2014, is Health Canada's plan for improving access to timely, useful and relevant health and safety information for Canadians. Under the 2014-15 Framework, Health Canada committed to a set of 15 concrete initiatives to be achieved by March 31, 2015 to improve transparency in key areas such as drug safety and inspections, food and nutrition, consumer products and stakeholder engagement.
Health Canada has delivered on all 15 commitments and more, and is embarking on the Framework's next phase with a new three-year plan. The Framework sets out how Health Canada will do more to inform and engage Canadians on important health and safety issues, and provide more information so that Canadians can see how the department enables industry compliance and enforces regulatory rules.
- As part of its three-year Framework and Action Plan, Health Canada has made specific commitments for the next year (2015-16).
- An annual report is available detailing how the department has delivered each of its 15 commitments and more in 2014-15. Health Canada will continue to report regularly to Canadians on its progress.
- The Framework was launched last year with the release of Health Canada's first drug summary safety review (for acne medication Diane 35). Since then, over 35 other safety reviews have been posted on Health Canada's website.
- Other notable 2014-15 accomplishments include: the Drug and Health Product Register, a new tool designed to become the go-to resource for Canadians looking for quick access to information on hundreds of prescription drugs; consulting with Canadians on how to improve nutritional information on food labels; and a Stakeholder Registry where Canadians can sign up to stay informed of Health Canada's consultations and have a stronger say in the department's priorities and policies.
- Achievements under the Framework complement and support important new transparency measures introduced with The Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (Vanessa's Law). The legislation, which received royal assent last fall, brings important new drug safety measures for Canadians and new era of transparency around patient safety information. Canadians were recently invited to provide input on two new initiatives to put Vanessa's Law into action.
"Fundamental change is underway at Health Canada in the way it engages and informs Canadians. I'm incredibly proud of what has been accomplished in the first year of the Framework. Credible, timely information is key to building trust and enabling Canadians not only to make informed health choices, but also to better understand the health regulatory system that's in place to protect our safety and the safety of our families."
Minister of Health
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709