The Government of Canada has finalised new plain language labelling regulations, which will make drug labels and packaging information easier to read and understand.
Minister of Health Rona Ambrose said: "As Minister of Health, I am personally committed to improving safety for Canadians every day, by making drugs safer, and also making it easier for people to use them properly.
"Providing Canadians with clear, understandable and credible information about the potential risks and appropriate use of drugs is one of the most valuable safety tools."
The regulations are aimed at improving the safe use of drugs, and form part of the Plain Language Labelling Initiative.
Once effective, the regulations, which support the government's Patient Safety priorities under the proposed Bill C-17 (Vanessa's Law) from Health Canada's regulatory, transparency and openness framework, will see the introduction of clear labels.
In order to help users find and understand important information, a standardised format and 'drug facts' table will be introduced for non-prescription drug labels.
Mandatory contact information will also be displayed, enabling users to report problems and adverse drug reactions.
Once the regulations are in place, manufacturers will have to provide mock-ups of labels and packages for Health Canada to review, as well as evidence that drug names will not be confused with other authorised products.
Image: The new regulations will improve the safe use of drugs. Photo: courtesy of amenic 181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net