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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ire and Fire: Progressive Pharmacy Draws Attention

The Most Progressive Pharmacy in Canada 


Marigold Compounding and Natural Pharmacy in Courtenay, BC is the first of its kind. It is one of the most progressive pharmacies in North America as far as the scope and the mode of its operation. It is the true integration of pharmacy, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and other modalities at a professional level.

It has been recently caught in the controversy that is affecting the delivery of natural health care and natural products in Canada. As one of the most innovative pharmacies in Canada, it has drawn attention to its role in promoting the legitimacy of complementary alternative medicine alongside conventional pharmacy services. This is a unique environment where you will find products and services from different modalities. 

On June 14, 2010 four inspectors from Health Canada, accompanied by two RCMP officers, and inspectors from the College of Pharmacists of BC raided the pharmacy and seized products   without NPN's (Natural Product Number) and ordered the closure of the store.

The total value of the products taken away by Health Canada was $146,290.85 (valued at cost) 

How is Marigold different?

Marigold is no ordinary pharmacy. First of all, the philosophy is based on Vis Curatio Intentio (to heal as nature intended). They do not carry regular drugstore items such as Tylenol, Nyquil, not even Band-aids. Instead, you will find a wide selection of the best quality vitamins and supplements, including professional lines such as Thorne, Seroyal, Metagenics, AOR, and Waiora. They carry functional foods, medicinal mushrooms, Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, tissue salts and chemical free dermatological preparations. They also have their own line of products which are prepared in the compounding pharmacy.

What is the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD)? 

The NHPR (Natural Health Products Regulations) came into full effect in January 2010. It is federal legislation through which Health Canada would legislate the sale of natural health products as it does drugs through the Food and Drug Act and the Food and Drugs Regulation. With the classification as drugs, the intent is to have all natural products develop a body of evidence based on science. The fact that natural ingredients can not be patented poses a dilemma for manufacturers. Natural ingredients can be isolated and purified and even chemically altered, but does this change the properties? Are they still natural?

For the quarterly reporting periods (2008/2009 and the first three quarters of 2009/2010) which represents 37.9% of the product licensing applications received since the start of the NHPR in 2004, a total of 19,402 applications have been processed of which 11,195 were licensed, 2,493 were withdrawn and 5,714 were refused. (Source: Clash of the Regulatory Bodies by Andrew Waldie, Integrated Health Practitioner, Special Report, Vol 10-2) This represents just a small fraction of natural products on the market. These are products already currently on the shelves, and does not count products in development. Already, many suppliers have stopped shipping to Canada and many small companies who cannot afford to comply are waiting in anticipation of what will happen. Larger companies are caught in the application process for NPN's and there are many products somewhere along the process.

Since 2004, there has been a growing backlog of applications and the CHFA (Canadian Health Food Association) has described the backlog as alarming.

In January 2010, NAPRA, the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, of which the College of Pharmacists of BC is a member, issued a position statement advising pharmacies to stop selling any products that do not have a DIN ( Drug Identification Number), an NPN ( Natural Product Number) or a DIN-HM (Homeopathic Medicine DIN). This has been adopted by some provincial College of Pharmacists and is now being implemented through the removal of products at the retail level.

Where does Marigold fit in? 

Marigold does not fit in neatly into any category. Although we are a full service pharmacy with prescription services, we are very different from a traditional drugstore. Our expertise is in natural medicine, but we also understand the language and complexity of pharmaceutical drugs.

Marigold Compounding and Natural Pharmacy creates its own line of chemical- free products. In our formulations, we consciously and carefully select natural ingredients and avoid toxic chemicals. As much as possible, we try to stay close to the natural state of the medicine. We avoid using parabens, petroleum distillates, artificial colours, triethanolamine, magnesium stearate, butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, PABA, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial flavours and clay fillers. We formulate our capsules using alfalfa as the filler, rather than lactose or magnesium stearate.

Authorities from Health Canada have advised us in the past that as a compounding pharmacy, we have the ability to prepare products without an NPN registration as long as it fulfills the following criteria: 

1. It is prepared in a proper laboratory with good manufacturing processes. 
2. It is delivered directly to the end-user, the patient. 
3. There exists a professional relationship between a health practitioner and the patient.

Our ability to deliver professional advice is unparalleled in the industry. We have the following ten accredited practitioners on our staff:

Janette Cormier, AA, RH, R.Ac. Registered Herbalist, Registered Acupuncturist

Michel Duhaime, R.Ac,, DTCM Registered Acupuncturist, Transformation Acupuncture, EFT 

Raje Harwood Registered Reflexologist, Auricular Therapy

Dr. Erika Kneeland, B.Sc., ND Naturopathic Physician with a specialty in obstetrics, pediatrics and women’s health

Dr. Lise Maltais, FCAH, ND Naturopathic Physician, Registered Homeopathic Physician, Bowen Practitioner 

Charlese Nan, RMT Registered Massage Therapist, Injury Specialist

Kira Neumann, RNCP Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition Consultant

Sharon Niscak, M.Sc., RH Registered Herbalist 

Carol Smith, BA Reiki Master 

Rudy Sanchez, B.Sc. Pharm. Consulting Pharmacist, Formulator

Seizure by Health Canada and the College of Pharmacists:

The store was closed and has been closed since, as we comply with the requirements set out by the College and Health Canada. 

Here are some of the products that were removed from the shelves:

All Natural Sunscreens containing zinc oxide in various concentrations
Buttspackle containing calendula, peru balsam and zinc oxide
Arthrotopik Cream for inflammation, containing devil’s claw, calendula and arnica
Jocamu Ointment containing arnica and Rhus tox
Wild Oregano Oil, pure oil
Arnica Ointment 10% 
Shatavari Ayurvedic Powder 
Oil of Lavender pure essential oil
Grapefruit Seed Extract, pure
Colloidal Silver 
Goldenseal Powder in Manuka 16+ Medicinal Honey

Health Canada has seized inventory which does not bear NPN’s. Part of this inventory are products that we make based on our own formulas. Part of this inventory is from suppliers who have not complied with NPN regulations. The store is closed by the College of Pharmacists of BC pending compliance with regulations. 

These are the steps that are being done at this time: 
1. Institution of individualized professional practitioner consultations prior to sale of products without NPN. This will require that we record patient name, date of purchase and practitioner information, This will allow us to sell these products and continue preparing them if needed.
2. Installation of a service counter to remove public access to Marigold Products.
3. Initiation of the procedure to register a site license for Marigold and allow us eventually to file for NPN’s for our products.
4. Meeting the compliance issues set out by the College of Pharmacists of BC
regarding labeling, compounding registers, etc.

We are using this opportunity to input our inventory into a POS system and make these improvements to allow us to continue serving your health needs.

Marigold is a very unique and progressive pharmacy that happens to be right here in Courtenay. We appreciate your support during this period and ask you to participate as much as you can in the protection of natural health not just for this store, but for all natural health retailers and practitioners. 

1. For more information about Health Canada regulations regarding the requirement of NPN’s, please go to the website for NHPPA (Natural Health Products Protection Association) and watch some of the videos of Shawn Buckley, constitutional lawyer and advocate for protection of natural health products.
website: nhppa.org
2. Visit the site of CHFA (Canadian Health Food Association)
website: chfa.ca 

3. If you want to write a letter of support for Marigold, (especially if you have had a chance to use our services and have a story you want to share about outcomes), please send emails to:

4. All media enquiries are directed to :
250 338 9623 


  1. Hi Rudy, We are shocked at the recent events that have occurred in your store. We hope and pray that there will be a positive outcome. Whenever in Courtenay we love to come into your store and stock up on your natural products. Sending prayers and positive vibes that all will go well for you!!
    Sincerely Denise & Perry Gill

  2. Dear Rudy,
    So sorry to hear what has happened at Marigold. It is sad that the misinformed still continue to act aggressively against the Truth. But like water, inevitably the Truth will find it's way. Those who follow the Truth will continue to advocate natural health and healing so that eventually even the misinformed will see the way. A Marigold will flourish in the most negative environment using the Universal Energy of Light. Your Marigold will survive the storm. The marigolds in our Secret Garden (cnr 5th & England) are for you. We will plant more Marigolds in our garden here today sending the Energy of Light your way.
    Namaste our friend...
    Janette & Alan
    Founders of ZenZero-the Secret of Health Inc - now living in Australia.

  3. I miss you. I haven't purchased many products from your store, but the ones I have were excellent. Hurry back!

  4. If the government Agencies are involved it is not about our protection but money. There must be something in it for them, either in ways of fines, taxes, fees, licencing, or kick-backs. Our government is owned by the Big Drug Businesses and your company puts them at risk. Your products are grassroots, as all medicines should be, and "they" don't like it. You have helped us more than the so called professionals that prostitute to the Drug Companies and feed us their garbage which create greater problems and require more drugs. keep your chin up and realize that "Right" will eventually win out....or hope that we Canadians will get up off our asses and win back our freedom to decide for ourselves what we will ingest for our health. The Health care System has failed to take care of us and so has the Food and Drug Administrators. The sooner we overhaul the way we are treated by our elected Officials and Policy Managers the better off we all will be. Gestapo style of Policing has never worked in the past and will not work here. we need to protest and protest loudly! This is not acceptable! Our hearts are with you, Michael and Belinda

  5. This is truly outrageous. I am unable to comprehend the actions of Health Canada with regards to limiting our access to health products. I for one CANNOT and WILL NOT sit idly by as my freedom of choice is ripped away from me!
    I am horrified that everything that NHPPA has warned us about, is actually coming to pass, right under our noses. I will be writing to my Senators to voice my fears and concerns about the new Natural Health Products Regulations.
    Good luck and I hope that you are able to work through this mess and return to normal operations soon!

  6. To get more information on the Natural Health Products Directorate, CHFA recommends visiting Health Canada's website at
    For more on the Regulations, visit

  7. Rudy I am so sorry that this has happened. This is history repeating itself from the dark ages when the religious leaders burned witches for their knowledge of natural cures.

    The leaders now are the politician and bureaucrats that are still frightened of change or anything that science does not answer.

  8. please put a "share" button on your post to make it easier for us to spread the word...and don't fret stay positive because it is what it is...and it will not last long..we are winning all the resistance will give way as it can no longer exist during these years of transition...don't give up! you will help it move forward! Appreciate you all

  9. i forgot...Blogger has a share button up on the nav bar...so i am sharing...

  10. This is so awful. You provide excellent products and my skin is really missing your amazing anti age face cream. Nothing else comes close to it!

    Hopefully you can return to normal very soon.

    is there a facebook page for this?

  11. Thanks for sharing your post and it was superb .I would like to hear more from you in future too.
    Inventory Management Software

  12. I have full faith in Marigold Compounding and Natural Pharmacy. I visited the store when it first opened in 2009. I pray that the store will soon be reinstated. I have used traditional medicine in conjunction with allopathic prescriptions and have never been harmed as long as one follows the dosage and the prescription is given by qualified personnel. Most of the staff at the store has proven credentials. I feel that the Health Inspectors should have given a warning and a stage-by-stage inspection rather than causing the closure of such a much-needed space for natural products.

  13. Excellent post.I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

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