Naming your NHP: Tips for Health Canada Approval

Naming your NHP: Tips for Health Canada Approval

July 21, 2020 By

A “Brand Name” is defined as the name under which your NHP (Natural Health Product) is registered or sold. Selecting a “Brand Name” for your NHP is an important part of marketing your product – you want to make sure the name is eye-catching and informative to the consumer to help set it apart from other products on the shelf. However, it is also crucial that the name of your product is not misleading, or you may run into trouble when trying to register your product with the NNHPD (Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate).

As part of the Product Licence Application (PLA) process, the NNHPD will review all aspects of the product, including the brand name, according to Section 9 of the Food and Drugs Act, to ensure the product is not presented in a misleading manner. For example, if your product is named “Immune Support” but does not support any immune claims, the NNHPD will likely ask that the brand name be changed to something that more accurately represents the product. Determining whether your brand name is acceptable can sometimes be tricky and, in some cases, may lengthen the PLA review process. To help you evaluate the acceptability of your Name in the Canadian Market, consider the following questions:

  1. Does the Brand Name include the proper or common name of a medicinal ingredient (MI) (or source material) in your product? If yes, is the ingredient or its related effects presented in an accurate way? For example, if your product is named “Naturally Sourced Vitamin C” it is important to ensure the ingredient is natural and not made synthetically
  2. Are non-medicinal ingredients (NMI’s) referenced in the brand name and is the name related to an NMI purpose (ex. Flavour)? An NMI should not be presented in a way that suggests efficacy since claims can only be supported by MI’s.
  3. What is the format of your NHP and is it food-like (e.g., a bar, soup, or beverage)? If the product is in a food-like format, the NNHPD may be concerned that the product has been misclassified. It is important not to make references to food in NHP’s since they are not meant to replace food, but rather to complement a normal diet.
  4. What types of claims are supported by your product, and does your Brand Name accurately present these claims? The name should not exaggerate a claim or it may be misleading to the consumer. For example, if your name supports the claim “supports immune health” then naming the product “Super Immune Booster” would be misleading since it overemphasizes the supported claim.

Creating a Brand Name for your product can be unexpectedly challenging in the Canadian Market, especially if the claims you hoped would be supported by your product are not. For additional questions or help regarding naming your NHP’s, contact one of dicentra’s consultants today! Need help supporting a product claim or Brand Name that has limited evidence available? Contact our Clinical Research Division!