Hi my name is Alexander Tretjakov. I am a co-owner of Ananta Health an alternative health clinic that deals with treatment and management of chronic diseases in Calgary Alberta. For years we have been treating patients that either choose a different course than pharmaceuticals, or that our current medical system has failed. We treat diseases like Lyme Disease, MS, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia and many other hard to treat illnesses. We use a combination of Chinese medicine and western supplementation to get great results for our patients. More info about us here: http://dr-risk.com/
Starting about two years ago we began experiencing an impact of Health Canada’s new initiative to regulate natural health products.
Natural Health Products (NHPs) are defined as:
· Vitamins and minerals
· Herbal remedies
· Homeopathic medicines
· Traditional medicines such as Traditional Chinese Medicines
· Probiotics, and
· Other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids.
Here is how Health Canada explains their intentions:
“The Natural Health Products Regulations were created after many consultations with Canadian consumers, academics, health care practitioners and industry stakeholders. They address Canadians’ concerns about NHP availability and safety, as well as the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health's 53 recommendations on the regulation of natural health products (NHPs) in Canada.
To be legally sold in Canada, all natural health products must have a product licence, and the Canadian sites that manufacture, package, label and import these products must have site licences.”
So according to them this law was brought to protect the consumer and to make the natural products be more available and safer. In my opinion this is great – but the devil is always in the details.
As I mentioned before, about two years ago we started feeling the impact of this law. At first Chinese medical formulas that we used to great success in treating of our patients started not be available. Even though our supplier had their licensing paper work in on time, Health Canada couldn't handle the back log they had created and that made products simply not available for years now. So, as the years have gone by, our supplier has not been able to replenish its stock of favorite formulas, and those very effective formulas that worked so great for our patients and no longer available for treatment.
Today we are facing a crisis, where we cannot get any modern compound Chinese medical formulas in pill form because Health Canada is rejecting those applications. They only want to accept formulas that our thousands of years old, but times have changed.
Explanation from our supplier:
“The current NHPD regulations recognize formulas that were developed for patterns presented by patients in China hundreds of years ago. While these older formulations are valuable, our current patient population presents with more yin, damp, and excess patterns due to refined sugars, lifestyle and environmental changes. North American practitioners have asked manufacturers to make formulas that address these conditions. Internationally respected TCM practitioners like Giovanni Maciocia, Bob Flaws, John Scott and Jake Fratkin have responded with excellent formulas. These newer formulas are still created using TCM herbal principles, however, these clinically relevant formulas are not considered “traditional” by the NHPD and are being rejected.”
Following this, Myco Herb formulas (formulas that are made from various mushrooms - usually with cancer fighting and other amazing anti-microbial benefits). These formulas are not longer going to be available in Canada because of this law. There was only 1 supplier for these products and they are not willing to go through the red tape to get myco herbs licenced.
We have also been recently told that the regulations on pediatric formulas are so strict, that all of our formulas we used to give to our young patients are no longer available. The options now to treat children are very limited.
Next on the radar were products like Syntol and Neprinol –extremely effective formulas to fight Candida (over 90% of our patients have Candida overgrowth – which is quite serious and has over 50 different symptoms and is very serious.
http://www.candidamd.com/candida/symptoms.html), and a systemic enzymes that help with many muscle and joint disorders, among other things. Nattokinase is no longer available in Canada, so those who relied on Neprinol to keep their arthritis inflammation down, or to treat long standing infections, now have to look for other options.
Every time our clinic encountered these difficulties (products we used for years suddenly not being available), we tried to compensate by finding new formulas that are still available. However our efforts are becoming extremely difficult. Less and less products are available and our treatment protocols are now at danger of being compromised in a very real sense. Again the only people truly suffering are our patients and thousands of other sick people across the country.
My question is - how is Health Canada helping us, as consumers, if they are limiting in a very real sense the type of treatment patients can get? As I mentioned in the beginning, when people come to us, they already experienced how the traditional medical system failed to help them. So if western medical system can’t help those people and the government of Canada legislated that natural health practitioners won’t be able to help them – how do we, as consumers, get health care? What about people who just want to have a choice of treatment and do not want to take pharmaceuticals? Some conspiracy theorist might say that the only ones who truly benefit from this initiative are pharmaceutical companies (less natural products available, then consumption of pharmaceuticals should increase) and bureaucrats in the government (by creating work for themselves under the guise of public protection) – but conspiracy aside, we do have a real problem on our hands that needs to be addressed immediately.
More information about the topic:
Just type in “ health canada attack on natural health ” on google:
What we can do:
1. Support the law suit that was launched against Health Canada:
2. Contact health Canada and raise your concern:
When contacting Health Canada please mention to them that they should grant suppliers of natural health products exemption numbers until a complete review of regulations related to "professional use" products can be completed, and that the regulations have been modified for this special category. You can suggest that when that happens, that the formulas then can be re-assessed within the guidelines of this new category.
Mr. Don Boyer
Director, Bureau of Product Review and Assessment
Ms. Michelle Boudreau
Director General, Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD)
Ms. Nancy Richards
Senior Executive Director, NHPD