Consumer Health Products Canada was founded in 1896 by a group of drug manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers under its original name, the Proprietary Articles Trade Association (PATA). The Association's original focus was on fair trade and pricing practices. Realizing that membership in the Association could provide broader benefits for member companies, the Proprietary Association of Canada (PAC) was created as an expansion of the PATA concept and was incorporated in 1936. It was at this time that the organization also became more explicitly a manufacturer's association. Over the years, the Association has changed its name a couple of times to reflect its expanding membership and mandate: in 1987, PAC changed its name to the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association of Canada (NDMAC); and in 2009, it was renamed Consumer Health Products Canada.

By the 1960s, regulatory issues made up the core of PAC's programs. The Association also played an increasingly important role in self-regulation of the industry, working with the Advertising Standards Council and other organizations on voluntary codes and guidelines. It is also at this time that Canada's publicly funded universal health care system was established, and advocating the positive role of self-care in the system became an increasingly important function of the Association.

Over the years Consumer Health Products Canada has maintained its place as the leading advocate for the consumer health care products industry. The Association continues its work today, participating in legislative and regulatory renewal with Health Canada, notifying members of emerging issues and advocating the value of making self-care one of the pillars of our health care system.