Understanding Therapeutic & Non-Therapeutic Claims

What is a claim?

A claim is a representation for sale. It can be presented as “a word, a sentence, a picture, a symbol, a paragraph or an implication on product labels, package inserts or advertisements, including company websites”.  It explains what the product is for and what it does. There are two types of claims: Therapeutic Claim and Non-Therapeutic Claim. Depending on the claims, your product can be classified as a cosmeticNHP, or drug.

Therapeutic/Health Claims

A health claim is a statement that indicates the intended beneficial effect of a product when used in accordance with its recommended conditions of use. The term “recommended use or purpose” is often used interchangeably with “health claim” or “indications for use.”

These are claims that must be reviewed by the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) prior to receiving its market authorization such as Natural Product Number (NPN) or Drug Identification Number (DIN). 

Examples are: “Weight/Fat loss”, “Hepatoprotectant”, “Helps with immune function” “Supports normal blood glucose levels.”, “Prevent Vitamin/Mineral deficiency.” “Antiviral”, “Antibacterial action”, “Antiseptic (Cleanser)/Disinfectant/Sanitizer”, “Fungicide”.

Non-Therapeutic Claims

These are claims that are made on product labels and its advertisements. Though they must be true and accurate, they do not require review and authorization from Health Canada prior to use.

 Examples are: “New and improved formulation”, “Softens skin”, “Moisturizes aging skin”, “Covers up /Hides age spots. “, “Feel younger”, “Look younger”.