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This article applies to selling in: Canada

Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia & Dietary Supplements

Important: If you supply products for sale on Amazon, you must comply with all federal, provincial, and local laws and Amazon policies applicable to those products and product listings.

This page covers products regulated as drugs or natural health products (“NHPs”) by Health Canada and are intended for human use. It also covers Drug Paraphernalia.

Note: All drugs and NHPs listed in our stores must have a valid Drug Identification Number (“DIN”) or Natural Health Product Number (“NPN”) issued by Health Canada. The images of the product label on the detail page must include the DIN or NPN, as applicable. The DIN or NPN also needs to be submitted to the license information section in Seller Central. To do this you will need to backfill the license information through the single item setup in Seller Central or through an Inventory Template file. If you require assistance providing any of this information, please contact Selling Partner Support.

Drugs

In general, drugs are substances or mixtures of substances that are manufactured, sold or represented for use in:

  • The diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms;
  • Restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions of the body; or
  • Disinfectants and sanitizers with disinfectant claims.

Please use the checklist below to ensure that your product complies with the requirements of Canadian law and can be sold on Amazon.ca.

Compliance Checklist of Drugs

Licensing

Before drug products are authorized for sale in Canada, Health Canada reviews them to assess their safety, efficacy and quality. Once approved, licensed drug products are issued with a DIN. All drugs listed for sale on Amazon.ca are required to have a DIN. More information on Health Canada’s licensing can be found here and here.

Labelling

With limited exceptions, drug products must be labelled in French and English with all the information required by applicable Canadian law, including but not limited to:

  • DIN issued by Health Canada
  • Brand name
  • Intended use
  • Active ingredients
  • Warnings
  • Dose

For more information, see Health Canada's Nonprescription Drugs: Labelling Standards.

Marketing

All claims made by a drug must comply with the terms of the product’s market authorization. Drugs may not be illegally marketed. Examples of illegal marketing include:

  • Making statements outside of the product’s market authorization
  • Making false or misleading statements
  • Using misleading endorsements, including the claim “Health Canada Approved” or similar language
  • Overstating effectiveness
  • Promoting unauthorized (off-label) use

For more information on illegal marketing, see this Health Canada guidance.

Prohibited Listings

Amazon.ca prohibits certain drugs in its stores, including drugs that are illegal for sale in Canada, are administered by injection, require a prescription, require a pharmacist’s intervention before sale, or are required to be sold at a pharmacy.

Drug Paraphernalia

Amazon.ca policy prohibits certain drug paraphernalia from being sold in our stores, including products intended for illicit drug use, bongs, pipes and dab kits. Other drug paraphernalia, such as syringes or hypodermic needles, are regulated by Health Canada as medical devices. For more information about listing a medical device on Amazon, please see our Medical Devices and Accessories Page.

Natural Health Products

In general, NHPs are either products that contain substances like minerals, probiotics, amino acids, fatty acids or certain vitamins (for more information see this list) or are a homeopathic or traditional medicine that is manufactured, sold or represented for use in:

  • The diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state;
  • Restoring or correcting organic functions; or
  • Modifying organic functions, including in a way that promotes or maintains health.

It can be difficult to distinguish between food products and NHPs. Indicators that a product is a food include:

  • Compliant Nutrition Facts Table
  • Ingredient list that does not differential between “medicinal” and “non-medicinal” ingredients
  • No claims to modify, correct or restore body function, promote health, or maintain health

Some foods may have added NHP substances. This may be allowed where the substance is added for taste, is added as a preservative, or the addition is authorized under a temporary marketing authorization. Please use the checklist below to ensure that your product complies with the requirements of Canadian law and can be sold on Amazon.ca

Compliance Checklist of NHPs

Licensing

Once Health Canada has assessed a product and decided it is safe, effective and of high quality, it issues a product license along with an eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM), which must appear on the label. More information on Health Canada’s licensing can be found here and here.

Labelling

NHPs must be labelled in French and English with all the information required by applicable Canadian law, including but not limited to:

  • NPN issued by Health Canada
  • Name of the dietary supplement
  • Intended use
  • Net quantity or amount of the dietary supplement
  • Nutrition labelling
  • Ingredient list
  • Name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor

For more information see Health Canada's Nonprescription Drugs: Labelling Standards.

Marketing

All claims made by a NHP must comply with the terms of the product’s market authorization. NHPs may not be illegally marketed. Examples of illegal marketing include:

  • Making statements outside of the product’s market authorization
  • Making false or misleading statements
  • Using misleading endorsements, including the claim “Health Canada Approved” or similar language
  • Overstating effectiveness
  • Promoting unauthorized (off-label) use

For more information on illegal marketing, see this Health Canada guidance.

COVID-19 Interim Order

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Canada has authorized certain drugs and NHPs to be sold in Canada even if they do not meet labeling requirements. The criteria for these products are identified in an Interim Order. Health Canada maintains a list of products, currently hand sanitizers and disinfectants, that are authorized for sale under the Interim Order.

Examples of Prohibited Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia Listings, and Natural Health Products

  • Cannabis, its preparations, derivatives and similar synthetic preparations.
  • Illegal substances, controlled substances, and narcotics, including products containing:
    • Substances listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Narcotic Control Regulations
    • Substances listed in the Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances Regulations
  • Products containing substances that are prohibited by or exceed the allowable amount set forth in the Precursor Control Regulations
  • Radiopharmaceuticals, and products represented for use in the preparation thereof
  • Products that contain DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine)
  • Products that simulate the effects of any illegal drug
  • Products intended for experiencing, or marketing for producing, an effect similar to that caused by an anabolic steroids
  • Products intended to defeat a drug test
  • Certain drug paraphernalia, such as:
    • Vaporizers
    • Pill and tablet press machines
    • Pipes made from metal, most woods, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic
    • Wired cigarette papers
    • Bongs
    • Dab kits
    • Products intended for illicit drug use
  • Products that are not licensed by Health Canada for sale as a drug or natural health product
  • Listings claiming that a product is a treatment, preventative or cure for any of the diseases, disorders or abnormal physical states referred to in Schedule A of the Food and Drugs Act
  • Products that Health Canada has determined present an unreasonable risk of injury or illness.
  • Products that have passed their expiration or their "use-by" dates.
  • Products manufactured, prepared, preserved, packaged or stored under unsanitary conditions.
  • Products that are not sealed in original manufacturer's packaging.
  • Products labelled as "tester" or "not intended for resale", such as drug samples.
  • Products marketed to imitate a prescription drug or prescription drug brand.
  • Products that are adulterated or misbranded.
  • Products that are not labelled or packaged as required by Health Canada regulations, such as:
    • Products that do not meet bilingual labelling requirements and are not otherwise excepted from these requirements
    • Products that are not labelled with a "drug identification number" or "natural product number" as applicable
  • Products that have been the subject of a prior regulatory action, such as:
    • Health Canada advisories, warnings or recalls
    • Products that have been the Subject of Recalls or Safety Alerts
  • Products that have been the subject of criminal enforcement, injunctions, seizures or warning letters
  • Dietary supplements and Natural Health Products, such as weight loss products, that contain undeclared or prohibited active pharmaceutical ingredients

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Last Updated: 01/06/2021

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