We can’t imagine that your reaction was any different than ours. Widely used Zantac, marketed as an over-the-counter heartburn medication, is under a distribution halt in Canada. The September 18, 2019 article by Thomson Reuters for CBC, “Novartis Halts Distribution of Zantac Drug Amid Probe into Impurities” (3 minute read) outlines the reason for the halt. Ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac, has been found to be contaminated with NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), a probable human carcinogen. This discovery comes not long after a slew of sartan drugs were recalled for the same issue. “Health Canada said the stop distribution request is an interim precautionary measure as it gathers more information and consults with international health regulators.”
Ranitidine passed Health Canada’s regulatory stipulations. A distribution halt ensures no further product lands on shelves, but it does not prohibit the sale of products already on shelves. The vilification of natural health products is alive and well as contaminated drugs remain sellable before natural options are recommended. This is a great example to lean on when you write to the bureaucrats responsible for the changes to the Self-Care Framework.