Hospitals may have to report adverse effects of natural health products
A new plan to force hospitals to report adverse effects of ``natural health products'' such as herbal remedies and supplements has come as a surprise to manufacturers, who say they were blindsided by the proposed change.
It would see natural health products fall under the same category as pharmaceuticals when it comes to how they are monitored once they are on the market.
They would be incorporated into Vanessa's Law, which was passed in 2014 to improve the reporting of adverse health reactions.
Putting natural health products under that framework would require hospitals to report on any unintended consequences associated with them, so that Health Canada can recall them or order fixes if necessary.
Canadian Health Food Association president Aaron Skelton says the provisions had been discussed before, but there was nothing to indicate to the industry that the change was imminent.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the change is meant to address the fact that not all products are equally safe for consumption.
The government at the time decided against doing so.