“Natural” health licensing process streamlined

The licensing process for “natural” health products is expected to become more efficient as Health Canada rolls out phase one of a new web-based system.

The new system, called “Online Solution,” is meant for processing natural health product submissions, site licences and clinical trial authorizations for natural health products in Canada .

“This new world-class online system will speed up consumer access to these products by making the licensing process more efficient,” federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a release Thursday.

Aglukkaq’s parliamentary secretary, Oshawa MP Colin Carrie, called the new system’s launch “an important step in responding to calls from industry and the public for faster licensing of safe natural health products.”

It’s estimated that the new system will “significantly” reduce the average application time, which, to date, has been about 60 business days, Health Canada said in Thursday’s release.

NDMAC, the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association of Canada, also hailed Health Canada’s announcement.

“Health Canada’s Online Solution will reduce the burden for companies by allowing us to submit multiple applications at the same time and receive licenses or decisions within days,” NDMAC president David Skinner said in the government’s release.

According to Health Canada, the Natural Health Products Online Solution contains a “world-class fully-searchable” database of natural health product ingredients that includes 7,000 acceptable medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients.

“Natural health product manufacturers will also benefit from pre-cleared information, such as pre-approved ingredient information claims and conditions of use, as the basis for new product applications,” the department said.

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