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June 14, 2013 by MARCO TORRES
Naturopathic Doctor Aims To Amend Legislation To Allow Physicians To Include Natural Health Products In Their Practice

A Canadian Naturopathic Doctor and leader in the natural health industry, Dr. Eldon Dahl is spearheading the formation of a committee with the agenda of lobbying the federal government to change the way medical Doctors are permitted to promote natural health products to treat and restore human health.

Now that natural product numbers (NPN) have been been legally assigned to health supplements with medicinal claims and licensed under the Food and Drug Act (as a sub class division of drugs), the federal government and consequently the College of Physicians and Surgeons may have no choice but to allow Doctors to prescribe natural health supplements as alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Currently, Physicians can only prescribe medications approved by Health Canada.

"Recently, CTV News (Canada) aired a segment where U.S. doctors admitted that pain medication is killing their patients unnecessarily due to over dosing. The report also shows the frustration MD’s are facing from recognizing the side effects from the drugs they prescribe," said
Dr. Dahl, owner and founder of Life Choice.

From the Health Canada website:

The level of evidence required to demonstrate safety remains the same, and products will continue to be labelled with required cautionary statements, e.g. potential adverse reactions and interactions with other products; warnings for certain populations like pregnant women; duration of use; etc.

Health Canada will also continue to focus its post-market activities for NHPs on situations that pose risks to the health and safety of Canadians, e.g., poor manufacturing, adulteration (e.g. addition of prescription and non-prescription drugs to NHPs), or products making claims not substantiated by evidence.

The regulatory requirement for a company to submit reports of serious adverse reactions will not change, and we will also continue to collect, track, and analyze adverse reactions to NHPs through the Canada Vigilance Program. When analysis of this adverse reaction information shows that there is a need to take action to protect the health and safety of Canadians, Health Canada can take a range of steps such as changes to product labelling, distribution of information to consumers and health professionals, and, in more serious cases, removal of a product from the market.

"Because Health Canada will be continually monitoring the safety of NHPs like they monitor prescription drugs, what is the risk of also prescribing them in like fashion?" asked Dr Dahl.

Earlier this year, the executive director of the Dietary Supplement Protective Union (DSPU) had issued a stark warning to Health Canada officials that enforcing Natural Health Product (NHP) regulations may constitute criminal activity by denying licences to manufacturers of the industry, a practice claimed to infringe on the constitutional rights of Canadians and thus subject to criminal legal action.

Strong associations between Health Canada and pharmaceutical executives have long been exposed and the industry has been on a mission to minimize natural health products at the expense and choice of Canadians. Sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost.

If successful, the initiative could create a domino effect with thousands of Doctors changing the way they perceive natural health supplements. The move would also unshackle restrictions on frustrated Physicians whose only route to prescribe treatments is drugs. Since high quality brands of natural health products are now proven as effective as their pharmaceutical counterparts and without the side effects, nutriceutical intervention could come as a massive blow to the pharmaceutical sector in Canada.

"Compounding pharmacies and ND’s could easily adjust to this prescription style, and from what the stats indicate, with the right training, it seems like MD’s would also be open to alternative options," concluded Dr. Dahl.

Life Choice is now the only clinically tested line of high quality natural health supplements being designated as "Professional, Therapeutic Medicine."

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

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