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National Drug Schedules (NDS) Updates - June 2, 2021

Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine to Remain on the NAPRA National Drug Schedules Until 2024

In accordance with its Policy on Natural Health Products (NHPs), the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) was to have removed all NHPs from the National Drug Schedules (NDS) on January 2, 2022. The removal of NHPs from NAPRA’s NDS will proceed on that date with two exceptions: ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The removal of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine will be delayed until January 2, 2024.

To allow time for stakeholders to adapt to the removal of NHPs from the NDS, in 2019 NAPRA implemented a stepwise, risk-based approach to their removal. NHPs in lowest risk categories were removed from the NDS in January 2020, while NHPs in the other categories are scheduled to be removed in January 2022.

In consideration of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the substance use crisis in Canada, a decision was made to delay the removal of two ingredients with higher risk, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, until January 2024, to allow time for the federal government to consider the most appropriate risk mitigation measures for these ingredients.  

NAPRA believes the public interest will be best served through the development of a more comprehensive framework from the federal government that would better protect Canadians from the risks of the entire class of NHPs. As such, NAPRA will continue to engage in ongoing opportunities to further encourage the development of such a framework.