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Canada Accelerating Process by Which Drugs Undergo Prescription-to-OTC Switch

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By Alexander Gaffney

Health Canada plans to get rid of its Schedule F drug regulations which govern which drugs may be sold over-the-counter (OTC) and which require a physician’s prescription to purchase.

The change is due to the onerous process by which drugs are added and removed to the schedule, which Health Canada said can take upwards of 20 months, even after regulators have determined the product is safe for consumers to purchase and use on their own.

The delay, caused because a regulatory amendment is necessary to make the addition or subtraction to the Schedule F list, has delayed OTC drugs from reaching consumers, noted Health Canada.

The change could see drugs reaching consumers nearly two years faster and save Health Canada time and resources, said Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq in a statement.

"This proposal also means taxpayers will no longer have to cover the costs of outdated regulatory processes," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Health Canada will replace the current inefficient process with a faster and transparent posting of each new prescription drug on our website."


Read more:

Health Canada - Harper Government Cuts Red Tape that Delays Access to Over-the-Counter Drugs

Pharma Times - Canada to speed access to OTCs




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