Tell Health Canada What You Think Of Their Plans To Crush The NHP Industry With Fees

On March 27th, NHPPA’s Shawn Buckley and Veronica Jean attended Health Canada’s engagement session on Revisions to the Proposed Fees for Natural Health Products.

The purpose of this meeting was to review Health Canada’s proposed revisions to the fees for regulating natural health products (NHPs) and to continue engaging stakeholders in important conversations about the effects of Cost Recovery on the natural health product industry in Canada.

In short, Health Canada announced the following changes to their Cost Recovery plans:

  • Reducing fees by 50% by limiting planned additions to their enforcement programs
  • Lowering fee ratios for the first four years
  • Phasing in fees over seven years starting December 2025

Let us be clear: THIS IS NOT A WIN!

Although Health Canada has framed these proposed fee reductions as their response to industry needs, what we also heard during last week’s meeting included:

  • Despite the proposed fee reduction of 50%, multiple natural health product manufacturers in attendance at the session stated they would need to pull 40-90% of their products from the Canadian market.
  • Multiple manufacturers stated they would be forced to cease operations in Canada entirely.
  • Despite first announcing the initiative SEVEN years ago, Health Canada still has yet to provide a draft of the full Self-Care Framework, which will include additional layers of fees, surely pushing even more natural health product businesses out of Canada.

The deadline to voice your concerns about the proposed new fee guidelines to Health Canada is April 25th. Your voice matters, participate by submitting your feedback.

We know you understand that these Cost Recovery fees are just one part of a much bigger picture of the over-regulation of natural health products under the Self-Care Framework already being implemented. Health Canada was clear last week—they are moving forward with the Self-Care Framework, despite not yet providing the industry or Canadians with a full draft of their plans.

If you need inspiration to provide your feedback, some of NHPPA’s biggest concerns around the proposed new fee guidelines, include:

  • The fees being imposed will drive more small and many medium Natural Health Product (“NHP”) businesses and practitioners out of business.
  • We will lose natural health products, natural health companies, and eventually natural health practitioners.
  • Natural health product prices will increase, and already are, removing products from people in our communities who rely on natural health products for their health conditions, and will no longer be able to afford them.
  • Health Canada openly admits that they have not done a balanced risk/benefit or cost analysis on the effects of imposing these fees. They are focused on “recovering” an estimated $51 million in the first year of this new fee schedule, but what revenue will be lost when:
    • Our government collects only a fraction of that because businesses opt-out or are forced out of the Canadian market
    • Our government collects less GST on natural health products because fewer Canadians can afford them
    • Fewer Canadians access NHPs and more begin relying on Government-funded healthcare options instead

It’s clear that the stakes are high for the natural health product industry in Canada. Please click the link below to provide your feedback to Health Canada before April 25th. Let’s continue to stand together to advocate for policies that support rather than hinder our access to natural health products.

Update from April 17, 2024: The deadline to provide Health Canada your feedback has been extended to May 25, 2024. Please send in your feedback if you haven’t already.

Give Health Canada Your Feedback
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