Our Access to Homeopathic Medicines and Supplements is Under Threat
I don’t often write these kinds of posts, but this is important. Our access to homeopathic medicines is under threat and action is required before August 10th. I originally wrote this together with a team at Canadians for Homeopathy and I’m reprinting it here with a few edits to get the word out. Please share!
The threat to homeopathy:
Bill C-47 was passed by the Canadian government on June 22, 2023; it was a budget bill which was unexpectedly revised to include sections that put pressure on homeopathic medicines and other natural health products without prior consultation with stakeholders including manufacturers, practitioners and Canadian consumers. There is now a short window for consultation, which closes August 10th.
Now that this bill has passed, Health Canada is implementing new regulations and fees for manufacturers of natural health products that will impact their costs significantly. This will lead to higher prices for consumers and the closure of small- and medium-sized manufacturers, who will be unable to afford the new fees. In the last ten years, Canada has lost two major homeopathic manufacturers: Heel, who produced a very popular product called Traumeel, left in 2014 and Hylands in 2022. You may also know Hylands as they produced many valuable and popular products including Schuessler cell salts. How many more products and companies will we lose?
I believe that Canadians want to keep their right to choose homeopathic medicines and natural health products alongside visits to the health practitioners, including homeopaths and naturopaths, who rely on them. If we do not speak out and speak out loudly now, Canadians may lose that right to choose their healthcare beyond pharmaceuticals, and what natural health products are left may become unaffordable to many. The new cost recovery fees recommended by Health Canada are of three types: site licensing fees, right to sell fees and pre-market evaluation fees alongside increases in penalties – and they are on top of new labelling requirements that are already increasing the costs to manufacturers. All of these changes are unnecessary as homeopathic medicines and natural health supplements are already exceptionally safe and do not need more policing or regulating. Remember that homeopathic medicines are entirely non-toxic to people and animals, safe for our natural water systems, and there are no by-products from the manufacturing process. They work alongside conventional medicine and they are affordable – at least they are affordable at this moment in time.
For a full discussion on these new Health Canada Initiatives and what they mean, please refer to the Discussion Paper by the Natural Health Products Protection Association. Or for a shorter version, see the Save our Supplements website. Both organizations are fighting to keep our access to homeopathy and natural health supplements – choose one or choose them both – but there is more each of us can do…
Together we can help keep our access to homeopathic medicines – but action is required before August 10, 2023 – you can help by:
- Writing to your Member of Parliament – mailing a letter is more effective than an email and personalized letters have a greater impact than form letters. However, sending any letter is better than sending no letter, so you’ll find a letter template at the end of this post or if you’d prefer to just sign and send, refer to the Save our Supplements form letter or choose one on the Natural Health Products Protection Organization website. Find your MP by postal code here.
- Take 10 minutes to complete the consultation survey on the Health Canada website before August 10, 2023 – in filling out the survey you must be clear that you do not want any added fees on top of the existing burdens on homeopathic medicines and natural health products; these fees are unfair as natural health companies have an exceptional safety record and do not make the kind of profits that pharmaceutical products do. Furthermore, increased fees affect your freedom to choose natural health supplements and homeopathic medicines for the health of yourself and/or your family and increase pressure on our already strained conventional medical system. Do this now – it only takes a few minutes.
- Share with as many people as possible. We need action now – we must let the government know that they cannot make sweeping changes to our access to homeopathic medicines and natural health products without a proper consultation and that we value our freedom to choose natural health and homeopathy alongside conventional care and pharmaceuticals. Our strength is in numbers!
- Make an appointment with your Member of Parliament to ask them to protect homeopathic medicines. For more information on how to approach your MP and discuss homeopathy, Americans for Homeopathy Choice has excellent resources which apply to homeopathy here in Canada as well. There you can download discussion papers on What is Homeopathy, Evidence for Homeopathy, Why Homeopathy Matters and even a Homeopathic Research Listing.