The Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) came into effect January 1, 2004 as the division of the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada. It is responsible for implementation of the Natural Health Product Regulations, which include homeopathic products.
IMPORTING HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES
As a recognized stakeholder, CSH consults with and monitors developments from NHPD that have the potential of affecting the interests of our members and the broader homeopathic profession. In 2006, our representatives were active in amending policies that impacted the access of imported homeopathic medicines by professional homeopaths. As a result, new policy guidelines permitted professional homeopaths to import most homeopathic medicines as long as they are clearly identified for "compounding" use only. This new interpretation covers both liquid medicating potencies and dry medicated pellets for use by homeopaths in their practice.
Compounding of a homeopathic medicine refers to the selection and/or preparation of a remedy for a specific individual. For details of the NHPD policy decisions affecting the importation of homeopathic medicines, please refer to the Compounding Policy and Raw Material Policy on their website.
NHPD regulations do not permit professional homeopaths to import home-use remedy kits, however. Because these kits contain directions for use, Health Canada views these as retail products for resale purposes, which require a special site licence.
Some homeopathic orders containing liquid medicating potencies have been seized and destroyed by Canada Post, which has restrictions on handling items with high-level alcohol content. To avoid similar problems when importing liquid homeopathic medicines, arrange for shipping by courier, rather than the regular postal service. Dry remedies, however, will not be affected by the Canada Post restrictions.
ADVICE TO OUR PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS
When importing homeopathic medicines for professional use, CSH Registered and Associate members are advised to specifically instruct foreign pharmacies to adhere to the following guidelines: