Unauthorized Health Products Harm Canadians, Health Canada Warns; And Will Enforce Action if Needed

Health Canada is reminding Canadians of the risks posed to their health and safety by companies that engage in the manufacturing and distribution of unauthorized health products. Health Canada reaffirms it will take action against such illegal activity in order to protect Canadians.

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The dangers are real. This year, Maria D’Onofrio plead guilty to charges related to illegally importing and selling prescription drugs. The B.C. Provincial Court (Port Coquitlam) sentenced her to 12-months Conditional Sentence including four months house arrest, a four-month curfew and a four-month probationary order. Her associate, Stephen Merry, also plead guilty to charges related to illegally selling prescription drugs. The court sentenced him to 12 months probation and $4,000 fine. 

Charges against the two were laid following an investigation by Health Canada into the import and online distribution of thousands of unauthorized prescription drugs, placing the health of Canadians at great risk.

This same year, Robert Lamberton plead guilty to illegally selling and manufacturing natural health products and drugs without a required licence from Health Canada. The B.C. Provincial Court (North Vancouver) fined Mr. Lamberton $10,000 and enforced a one year probation period.

Charges were laid against Mr. Lamberton after a Health Canada investigation uncovered he continued to sell and manufacture health products without required licences, despite repeated warnings to cease his practice.

Health Canada released its first warning to Canadians in 2017, informing them that products manufactured and sold by Robert Lamberton Consulting could pose dangerous health risks.

With these cases open for public knowledge and with serious legal action against illegal drug manufacturers, Health Canada wants Canadians to understand it is taking such activity seriously and that unauthorized health products are not to be trusted or considered as a viable option for health related issues.

Health Canada advises Canadians to look for products with a drug identification number (DIN), natural product number (NPN) or homeopathic medicines number (DIN-HM).

These numbers indicate that these products have been reviewed by Health Canada for safety, efficacy and quality, authorizing them for sale within Canada. Purchasing prescription drugs without being examined in person by a health care practitioner is a risk.

Further information regarding the risks of buying health products online is available on the Health Canada website. 

Health Canada is committed to stopping all illegal activities associated with the unauthorized sale of health related products.

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