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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

International Programs

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FDA's letter to Health Canada

April 16, 2008

Meena Ballantyne
Assistant Deputy Minister
250 Lanmark Avenue
Graham Spry Building
A.L. 2005D
OTTAWA, Ontario
K1A0K9
Canada

Dear Ms. Ballantyne:

I have the pleasure of writing you to propose the following amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America and the Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada of Canada Regarding Sharing and Exchange of Information About Therapeutic Products signed November 18, 2003 (MOU), to include, among other things, foods and dietary supplements (i.e., natural health products). It is understood that specific activities to be undertaken will be elaborated in work plans by our two organizations.

  1. The MOU Title is amended by deleting the last three words, “About Therapeutic Products.” 
  2. The Preamble is replaced by an Introduction, which reads, “The Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America and the Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB), Health Canada of Canada (collectively “the Participants”) recognize the importance of timely and effective communication and collaboration between U.S. and Canadian governmental authorities. The Participants share a mutual high regard for the critical role of one another’s regulatory systems. Therefore, the Participants to this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intend to establish mechanisms by which the sharing and exchange of documents and/or information between staffs would be facilitated as decided by the Participants.” 
  3. Section I. “Purpose” is amended by deleting the last nine words, “related to the regulation of the specified therapeutic products.” 
  4. In Section II “Scope,” the first sentence of the first paragraph (chapeau) is amended to read, “This MOU covers products regulated by, and activities under the mandate of, both Participants.” 
  5. In Section II “Scope,” the second sentence of the first paragraph is amended to read, “The Participants intend to develop specific procedures for the sharing and exchange of regulatory, safety, emergency management, and public health information related to these products and activities.” 
  6. The word “therapeutic” is deleted everywhere it occurs in section II(A), (C), (D), (F), and (J). 
  7. Section II(K) is amended by replacing the last four words, “substances and counterfeit drugs” with “substances, counterfeit drugs, and other areas of mutual interest.”

If these amendments are acceptable to you, this letter and your affirmative reply will constitute an amendment to the MOU effective on the date of receipt of your reply, and the attached consolidation, reflecting these amendments, will become the official text of the arrangement.

__________/s/_____________
Murray M. Lumpkin, M.D.
Deputy Commissioner
International and Special Programs
United States Food and Drug Administration