Online Educational Program

Essentials of Consumer Health Products

The Essentials of Consumer Health Products is an online program that consists of six educational modules. The program is designed to help those working in the consumer health products industry gain a better understanding of the regulation, scheduling, marketing, and advertising of consumer health products in Canada.

Who will benefit from this program?

  • Graduates in the field of regulatory science or regulatory affairs;
  • New employees working in a pharmaceutical company, responsible for, or having an interest in consumer health products;
  • Employees working in a pharmaceutical company, with new responsibilities in regulatory affairs, and/or;
  • Health Canada employees with responsibilities for, or an interest in, regulatory affairs.

How do I sign up for the program?

  1. Click on the ‘ORDER PROGRAM’ button below to register for the program. The program rates are as follows:
    • Members: complimentary
    • Non-members: $299 + HST
    • Recent graduates* of regulatory science or regulatory affairs programs: $199 + HST
      (*proof of completion of post-secondary studies required)
  2. Once online payment has been received, we will provide you links to the six modules in PDF format along with the information for how to complete the quizzes.
  3. Once you have completed and passed all six module quizzes, we will send you a course certificate for having completed The Essentials of Consumer Health Products program.

Order Program

MODULE 1 – Introduction to Consumer Health Products

Consumer health products have a wide range of purposes, from preventing or reducing the risk of disease, to the treatment or symptomatic relief of injuries, chronic conditions and many everyday ailments. Vitamins, headache remedies, allergy medications, toothpaste, sunscreens, acne lotions and lip balms are just a few examples. They can be purchased without a prescription and they are available at pharmacies, supermarkets and some convenience stores. All consumer health products that have been approved for sale in Canada by Health Canada have a product number on their labels.

MODULE 2 – Advertising of Consumer Health Products

As the national industry organization that represents manufacturers, marketers and distributors of consumer health products in Canada, CHP Canada strives to ensure consumer health products are used safely and responsibly and that adequate checks and balances are in place in the regulatory environment to support responsible self-care. To build trust in the industry’s marketing practices, it is essential to comply with the legislation, regulations, guidelines and voluntary codes that control consumer health product advertising. Compliance with advertising rules by everyone across the industry will help establish and maintain consumer and government trust and create an environment in which relative risk is appropriately communicated to achieve desired health outcomes and to foster responsible self-care.

MODULE 3 – National and Provincial Drug Schedules

The manufacture, import, export, transportation across provinces, as well as the sale of consumer health products in Canada are all governed by Canada’s Food and Drugs Act. Subordinate to the Food and Drugs Act are regulatory provisions imposed by the federal government through the offices of Health Canada, and both legislative and regulatory provisions by the pharmacy profession through its provincial bodies. Health Canada regulates the availability of consumer health products for sale and many of the conditions under which drugs are sold. Pharmacy regulatory bodies regulate the conditions under which consumer health products are sold. These conditions have to do with the role of pharmacists in the sale of specific products and the placement of specific products in the retail setting. These conditions are specified in provincial drug schedules.

MODULE 4 – Health Product Review

Canada’s health products review process is the means by which a health product’s safety, efficacy and quality are assessed by scientists in Health Canada’s Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) and Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD). Once a prescription drug or consumer health product has successfully gone through the review process, it is authorized for sale in Canada.

MODULE 5 – Regulating OTC Health Products

Over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) can be purchased without a prescription and are regulated by the Food and Drug Regulations and Food and Drugs Act. The Food and Drug Regulations define OTC health products and set out the requirements for their sale, manufacture, packaging, labelling, importation, distribution and storage.

MODULE 6 – Regulating Natural Health Products

Natural health products (NHPs) include vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbal medicines, and traditional medicines. NHPs are regulated by the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHP Regulations) of the Food and Drugs Act. The NHP Regulations are administered by the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) within the Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) of Health Canada. The NHP Regulations came into effect January 1, 2004 and apply to all NHPs.