OTTAWA, March 30, 2012 /CNW/ - A red tape reduction measure in yesterday's federal budget that will remove the requirement for regulatory amendments to impose or to remove prescription status for medicines will save Canadians and their provincial health care systems money. "Without changing the scientific review process, this measure will eliminate the 12-18 month regulatory delay that currently holds up access to new over-the-counter medicines after Health Canada approval. These consumer health products reduce consumer costs and have been shown to save provincial health care systems money by giving people new self-care options," said Consumer Health Products Canada's Gerry Harrington, "and this measure will quicken access to those savings."
Numerous studies in Canada and abroad have demonstrated that when medicines are switched from prescription to over-the-counter (OTC) status, health systems save money through reduced physician visits, drug costs and pharmacist dispensing fees. These new consumer health products offer people new self-care choices that allow them to take greater control over their own health. There is growing recognition internationally that expanding self-care options can play a vitally important role in maintaining health system sustainability. In recent months, both the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United Kingdom Medications and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have opened discussions on how to enhance self-care and drive cost savings through prescription to OTC medicine switches.
"This budget measure on red tape reduction takes an important step in the right direction," said Harrington, "by recognizing the value of self-care and its potential contribution to the sustainability of Canada's health care system."
CHP Canada is a 115 year-old trade association representing the consumer health products industry, including the manufacturers of natural health products (NHPs) and over-the-counter medicines (OTCs).
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For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Director of Public Affairs
Consumer Health Products Canada
Tel: (613) 723-0777
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Cell: (613) 863-3716