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Availability of Veterinary Medicines

Access to and the availability of veterinary medicines is critical to keeping our pets and food-producing animals healthy.

Availability of Veterinary Medicines

Availability of Veterinary Medicines

Factors Impacting Availability

Canada currently faces a number of challenges with respect to maintaining and improving access to the veterinary medicines needed to keep our animals healthy..

  • Size of the Canadian Animal Health Market
    • Canada is lower tier commercial market globally
    • equivalent to 10% of the US market
    • equivalent to only 2.5% of the global market
    • this makes it more difficult for companies to get a return on the investment required to register a new product in Canada, particularly if the costs of entry into the market are high
  • Regulatory Environment and International Harmonization
    • As a lower tier commercial market, Canada needs to make sure that our regulatory requirements for veterinary medicines can align as closely as possible to those of the major animal health markets globally (e.g. the United States, the European Union, etc.), a concept known as international harmonization
    • This is important because products developed for the large global markets often face different requirements for licensing in Canada.  One example of this are substances that are regulated as drugs in Canada, but are considered feed additives in the European Union.
    • Maximizing international harmonization of regulatory requirements with trusted regulators in other jurisdictions is one way to lower the overall costs of registering products in Canada.
  • Rising Regulatory Fees
    • Regulatory fees are the service fees charged by the federal government to both license new products and maintain existing products on the Canadian market.
    • The government sets regulatory fees through ministerial orders (rather than regulations)
    • Under the Fees in Respect of Drugs and Medical Devices Order (SOR/2019-124), Health Canada’s service fees for licensing of veterinary drugs are set to rise by up to 500% between 2020 and 2027.

What is a DIN?

A Drug Identification Number (DIN) is a computer generated eight digit number assigned to a drug product by Health Canada prior to that product being marketed in Canada.

All licensed drug products in Canada have a unique DIN.

DIN Status

Marketed = a product that is currently being sold in Canada

Dormant = a product that was
previously marketed in Canada but for which there have been no sales for at least 12 months

Cancelled = a product that has left the Canadian market and is no longer available. DINS can be cancelled both before (pre-market) and after (post-market) a product is actually sold in Canada