An unexpected proposal by the Canadian government to include natural health products, such as herbal remedies and supplements, in the same category as pharmaceuticals when it comes to monitoring their adverse effects has caught industry manufacturers off guard. The proposal was included in the 2023 budget bill, and if passed, would require hospitals to report any unintended consequences associated with natural health products, making it possible for Health Canada to recall or order fixes if necessary. The move is a response to a renewed national conversation around the regulation of natural health products, which was prompted by several high-profile tragedies in recent years. While some argue that the change is necessary to ensure that products are safe for consumption, others say that manufacturers are already responsible for reporting any ill effects associated with their products, and that the change hasn’t been properly studied or debated.
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