Information update

Health Canada reminds Canadians of the dangers of unauthorized health products; it will not hesitate to take enforcement action if needed

Starting date:
December 4, 2019
Type of communication:
Information Update
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Identification number:

Last updated: 2019-12-04

OTTAWA – Health Canada would like to remind Canadians of the risks posed by unauthorized health products and to reaffirm that it will not hesitate to take action against illegal manufacturing and distribution of health products that could pose a health and safety risk to Canadians.

On September 23, 2019, Maria D’Onofrio pleaded guilty to charges related to illegally importing and selling prescription drugs. The B.C. Provincial Court in Port Coquitlam sentenced her to a 12-month Conditional Sentence Order, which includes four months of house arrest, a four-month curfew and a four-month probationary order. Her associate, Stephen Merry, pleaded guilty to charges related to illegally selling prescription drugs. The court sentenced him to 12 months of probation and a $4,000 fine. Charges were laid following Health Canada’s investigation into the importation and online sale of thousands of unauthorized prescription drugs.

On October 28, 2019, Robert Lamberton pleaded guilty to illegally selling natural health products and manufacturing drugs without the required licence from Health Canada. The B.C. Provincial Court in North Vancouver sentenced him to a total of $10,000 in fines and one year of probation. Charges were laid following a Health Canada investigation that found Mr. Lamberton continued to sell and manufacture health products without the required licences, despite being warned by Health Canada to stop. Health Canada first warned Canadians in 2017 that products sold by Robert Lamberton Consulting could pose serious health risks.

Health Canada reminds Canadians that unauthorized health products may pose serious health risks. Look for health products that have a drug identification number (DIN), natural product number (NPN) or homeopathic medicines number (DIN-HM). These numbers mean that the product has been reviewed by Health Canada for safety, efficacy and quality and that it is authorized for sale in Canada. You can also check whether products have been authorized for sale by searching the Drug Product DatabaseMedical Devices Active Licence Listing and Licensed Natural Health Product Database. The Department advises Canadians when it finds unauthorized products sold at retail that may pose serious health risks.

If you buy health products online, you may be putting your health at serious risk. This is especially true if you order prescription drugs without being examined in person by a health care practitioner. Further information regarding the risks of buying health products online is available on the Health Canada website.

Health Canada is committed to using all tools at its disposal to stop illegal activities, such as the sale, advertising and manufacturing of unauthorized health products, and will continue to take action to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Report any health product-related adverse reactions or complaints to Health Canada.

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