Current practices and reform proposals for the regulation of advanced medicinal products in Canada

Regen Med. 2015;10(5):647-63. doi: 10.2217/rme.15.28.


We describe the Canadian regulatory framework for evaluating advanced medicinal products based on current policies, guidance documents and regulations and analyze proposed reforms. Our analysis is based on a documentary review supplemented by discussions with Health Canada officials. We present an overview of the Canadian regulatory framework for cell and gene therapy, medical devices and manufacturing facilities. We use the approval of Prochymal™ to highlight Canada's conditional marketing approval system. Finally, we discuss proposed changes to the regulatory framework in response to identified gaps, stakeholder consultations and international harmonization initiatives. Based on our analyses, we suggest that Canadian regulators have taken a reasonable approach in applying their regulatory framework without compromising on product safety.

Keywords: Health Canada; accelerated market approval; advanced medicinal products; cell therapy; clinical trial; gene therapy; market approval; medical device; orphan drug framework; regulation; regulatory reform.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
  • Commerce
  • Decision Trees
  • Drug Approval
  • Genetic Therapy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Marketing
  • Regenerative Medicine / legislation & jurisprudence*