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Federal/Provincial/Territorial Governments Launch Regulatory Cooperation Initiatives

Consumer Health Products Canada (CHP Canada) applauds move that will improve self-care options for Canadians and reduce healthcare costs.

July 20, 2018 (OTTAWA, ON)
– CHP Canada welcomes the premiers’ commitment today to work toward fixing the inconsistent federal and provincial processes determining conditions of sale for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. This will give more options to Canadians who practice self-care and will reduce healthcare costs.

“For years, Canadians travelling abroad have noticed medicines available over-the-counter that they can’t get in Canada without first getting a doctor’s prescription,” said Karen Proud, President of CHP Canada. “This hasn’t just limited their self-care options, it has cost our healthcare system dearly.”

In fact, the complex, overlapping federal and provincial regulations governing the transition of prescription drugs to over-the-counter status in Canada have meant that these “Rx-to-OTC switches” happen here seven to ten years after they take place in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. A recent report by the Conference Board of Canada found that Rx-to-OTC switches in just three medicine categories could generate over a billion dollars in savings through reduced healthcare costs and improved productivity.

The commitment to fix the intergovernmental duplication and overlap on OTC medicine regulation directly addresses a recommendation made this spring, with all-party support, by the federal Standing Committee on Health in its Pharmacare report. CHP Canada applauds the Committee for highlighting this issue and its importance to Canadian healthcare and similarly applauds the federal, provincial and territorial governments for taking on the challenge through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.

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CHP Canada is the industry association representing the companies that make evidence-based over-the-counter medicines and natural health products. These are the products you can find in medicine cabinets in every Canadian home. This is a fundamental part of self-care which is vital to the health of Canadians and the sustainability of our healthcare system.

Gerry Harrington – VP Policy & Regulatory Affairs, CHP Canada  613.723.0777 x227 | | #iselfcare, #cdnhealth |@chp_can