NDMAC Supports Government's New Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan

    OTTAWA, Dec. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - NDMAC, the organization representing
Canada's self-care health products industry, supports the federal government's
new Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan and looks forward to working with
Health Canada to ensure that sufficient resources, enforcement powers and
compliance measures are put in place so that Canadians can confidently access
safe and effective self-care health products, such as nonprescription
medicines and natural health products.
    "This is a step in the right direction," said NDMAC President David
Skinner. "The next step will be to make sure that the new legislation gives
the government the enforcement and compliance tools it needs to ensure
consumer safety consistently in all sectors of the self-care health products
marketplace and that Health Canada has the resources it needs to monitor the
marketplace and take enforcement action when necessary."
    These resources should come from Government revenues and not just through
increased user fees levied on the legitimate industry. One of the inequities
in the current system is that only those companies that choose to comply with
the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations pay these user fees, while the
noncompliant marketers, who expose consumers to undue risks, escape these
costs and rob Health Canada of the resources it needs to ensure consumer
    NDMAC and its member companies have been at the forefront of ensuring
consumer safety in the self-care health products marketplace for over a
hundred years. The organization has a long history of developing and
implementing voluntary initiatives aimed at enhancing consumer safety.
Examples of these initiatives include providing child resistant and
tamper-evident packaging, running programs that combat the diversion of health
products into illicit methamphetamine production, and voluntarily withdrawing
products as a precautionary measure when safety concerns have emerged.
    "What we hope this new Government initiative will provide for Canadians
is assurance that the same safety standards will apply to all products in the
marketplace," said Mr. Skinner. "NDMAC and its members have consistently gone
beyond the standards required by the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, but
there are products out there that have reached store shelves without even
meeting regulatory standards. Some of these are counterfeit products - we've
seen a number of high profile examples recently highlighted in the media -
others are simply products sold by unscrupulous marketers who choose to work
outside the confines of the Food and Drugs Act. We hope that the new
legislation will give Health Canada the much needed enforcement and compliance
tools they need to bring this threat to consumer safety to an end."

    NDMAC is a 111 year-old trade association representing the manufacturers,
marketers, importers and distributors of the majority of self-care health
products sold in Canada, including nonprescription medicines and natural
health products.

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview: Gerry Harrington,
Director of Public Affairs, NDMAC - Advancing Canadian self-care, (613)
723-0777, Fax: (613) 723-0779, Cell: (613) 863-3716,
gerry.harrington@ndmac.ca; www.ndmac.ca

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