Health Canada is notifying the public and interested parties that a Working Group on Schedule A to the Food and Drugs Act is being established pursuant to a Regulatory Review Program and in response to a House of Commons Standing Committee on Health's report on Natural Health Products.
Section 3 of the Act prohibits the advertising of any food, drug, cosmetic or device to the general public for the treatment, prevention or cure of any of the diseases, disorders or abnormal physical states listed on Schedule A to the Act. The section also prohibits the sale of a food, drug, cosmetic or device that is labelled in this manner. Schedule A includes forty diseases such as cancer and obesity for example.
The Working Group's mandate will be to make proposals with respect to the criteria that could be used for determining which diseases ought to be included in Schedule A and on possible modifications to the Schedule.
This Working Group will be comprised of invited representatives from health professional associations, academia, consumer and patients groups, industry and Health Canada. These groups have expressed their interest in Schedule A during other departmental consultations.
Health Canada will consider all proposals made by the Working Group and its report will form the basis for broader public consultations. All interested parties will have the opportunity to make their views known during these consultations.
Health Canada is also issuing a Guidance Document which clarifies the intent and applicable current interpretations of Section 3 and Schedule A to the Food and Drugs Act. The Guidance Document and additional information are available on the website.