Regulation of Homeopathy
Since Jan. 1, 2004, homeopathic medicines have been federally regulated in Canada under the category “Natural Health Products.” The regulation of natural health products, which include homeopathic medicines, is the responsibility of the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) of Health Canada. The role of the NHPD is to ensure that Canadians have access to natural health products which are safe, effective and of high quality, while respecting freedom of choice and philosophical and cultural diversity.
To maintain their already-existing status as medicines, homeopathic medicines continue to have DINs (drug identification numbers) but the suffix HM (homeopathic medicine) has been added. The label of a homeopathic remedy should have “DIN-HM” followed by an eight-digit number, under which it is registered by Health Canada. Homeopathic medicines are subject to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that are unique to them.
According to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) as it is applied in Canada, homeopaths are “practitioners of alternative medicine.” Health care practice (as opposed to products) is otherwise regulated provincially, and different laws apply in different provinces.
In Ontario, legislation was enacted to regulate homeopathy in 2007, and the process of establishing regulations for the profession is currently under way. The purpose behind regulation as it is applied in Ontario, under the Regulated Health Professions Act (1993), is to protect the public from dangers posed by health care practiced by insufficiently-trained practitioners, and to ensure good-quality health care.
UPDATE: The Homeopathy Act, 2007 was proclaimed on April 1, 2015
This means that anyone wishing to call themselves homeopaths in Ontario must first register with the College of Homeopaths of Ontario (CHO). See here for more information and a public register of homeopaths.
The Homeopathic Patient’s Bill of Rights
3CH endorses and upholds the rights of patients to receive homeopathic treatment that is in line with homeopathic best practices… as per below:
I have the right to choose health treatment that reflects the fact that I am a whole and integrated being, my mind, body and spirit inextricably connected.
I have the right to choose fully individualized treatment, tailored to me as a person, not just my disease.
I have the right to choose treatment based on the true nature and process both of disease and of healing.
I have the right to choose treatment that recognizes and makes use of the power and efficacy against disease of my life energy, rather than opposing it.
I have the right to choose treatment with medicines that are non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-addictive and inexpensive.
I have the right to choose treatment intended not just to suppress or palliate my symptoms, except where there is no alternative, but to truly remove my illness, gently, rapidly and permanently.
I have the right to choose consultations that are full, deep and thorough enough to give my health-care practitioner all the information he or she needs to prescribe effectively for me.
I have the right to choose to have any and all questions about my treatment and about homeopathy answered, so that I can be empowered with knowledge and understanding.