What is the difference between Notice of Compliance with Conditions and Priority Review?



These two processes apply to drugs used to treat conditions that are serious, life-threatening or for a severely debilitating disease (such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, AIDS, or Parkinson’s Disease).

Priority Review (PR) applies to drugs that shows substantial evidence of clinical effectiveness at the end of the clinical trial phases, that is, once the clinical development is completed. The total review timeline is reduced from 355 days to 215 days.

On the other hand, the Notice of Compliance with condition (NOC/c) applies to drugs with promising evidence of clinical effectiveness throughout the clinical trial phases. In summary, the NOC/c can be granted with less clinical data than usually expected, that is with Phase II study results or interim reports of Phase III studies. Approval would be granted to a manufacturer to market and sell that drug in Canada with the condition that the manufacturer execute additional studies to confirm the drug’s benefit and safety.  The total review timeline is reduced from 355 days to 235 days.

The condition needs to be agreed to with Health Canada. Some of the conditions of the NOC/c may include a requirement to closely monitor the drug for safety and adverse reactions and to provide HPFB with regular updates. Once the conditions are met, the designation of “with condition” is removed from the NOC.

To be considered for PR or NOC/c, the drug considered need to meet specific Health Canada criteria, that can be summarized as follows:

  • Offer effective treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a disease or condition for which no drug is available in Canada; or
  • Offer an improved benefit/risk profile over existing therapies, preventatives or diagnostic agents for a disease or condition, not adequately managed by a drug marketed in Canada.

Again, discussing with a Canadian regulatory expert in the early drug development stages can be an advantage for early input to establish the ideal regulatory strategy, as well as to help navigate through the requirements that are specific to Canada, while keeping in mind the global market strategy.


For questions about the Canadian Drug Review & Regulatory approval process that is not covered in this section, please go ahead and contact us directly.