Health Canada Considering More Restrictions On Opioid Marketing

Health Canada has proposed implementing further restrictions on the marketing and advertising of opioid medications. The proposed additional terms and conditions would restrict all advertising materials of Class B opioids provided to health care professionals to only statements that have been authorized by Health Canada and are presented verbatim while meeting fair balance requirements of benefits and risks.

In announcing the proposed restrictions, Health Canada says, “This proposed approach allows the pharmaceutical industry to convey educational and scientific information about a health product, while ensuring that information is evidence-based, unbiased and accurate, and the benefits and risks of opioid products are conveyed in a balanced way.”

The government notes that it is considering these changes because while there is value in the pharmaceutical industry conveying educational and scientific information about a health product, evidence suggests that the marketing and advertising of opioids may be contributing to increased sales and availability of prescription opioids. The government is seeking input from stakeholders on the potential changes.

Jae Rang, MAS, principal of distributor JAE Associates, Ltd. in Oakville, Ontario, says, “This measure provides a great opportunity for industry professionals. It’s not a restriction—interfering with the supply chain would be considered a negative impact—as it is a call for us to think creatively as to which products would carry the unbiased, educational information needed by physicians to make quality decisions. Ultimately the patient is our consumer and our inspiration for helping to deliver effective promotional products and messaging.”

For the full notice from Health Canada, click here.

filed under March 2019
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