This barrier is unrelated to the end of the transition period, following the United Kingdom's departure from the EU.

Public ID: PID-9LJY6B

Lengthy process to approve medicines and medical devices in Canada

in Canada

Trade barrier summary

Canada's approval process for medicines and medical devices, including pharmaceuticals, generally takes longer than other countries. This affects UK exporters as it delays reimbursement of their investment. It also reduces their patent exclusivity period in Canada. The Canadian assessment period is 300 days, with 10 days for eCTD validation, following by 45 days for administrative screening, so the procedure will typically extend to 355 days. The FDA in the United States aim to complete the same approval process within 10 months. The health technology assessment process in Canada had extra layers added 12 years ago. This process occurs after the approval of the medicine or medical device and involves assessments on the value of the product. This requires a comparison to products already on the market, assigning it a cost and negotiating what buyers are willing to pay.

Sectors affected

  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology



Date reported

19 January 2021

Last updated

1 June 2022

Public ID


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