Posted on: March 24th, 2016
On March 22, 2016, Health Canada announced the removal of prescription status for naloxone when used outside a hospital setting. Today, the College of Pharmacists of BC announced that naloxone will be listed as a Schedule II drug, making it available behind the counter of pharmacies in BC.
The BCCDC Take Home Naloxone program is in full support of this regulatory change as it increases the accessibility of naloxone to those who have previously been ineligible to obtain it. Anyone who wishes to carry naloxone to respond to an opioid overdose will be able to get training and purchase naloxone through a community pharmacy.
This regulatory change does not affect the existing operation of the BCCDC Take Home Naloxone program, which will continue to distribute kits to vulnerable and marginalized populations with the support of our amazing community partners. Existing processes and requirements will remain unchanged, and only approved sites will be able to obtain and distribute kits.
Community pharmacies will NOT be eligible to receive BCCDC’s naloxone kits and are required to obtain naloxone directly from wholesale manufacturers. More details will be made available through the College of Pharmacists of BC.
The BC Centre for Disease Control, in collaboration with the College of Pharmacists of BC, has developed training materials to assist pharmacists in this transition and to provide recommendations based on consultations with community partners and peer groups.Training sessions for pharmacists are available here,
We are very grateful to the ongoing support and dedication of all our community partners and stakeholders who have helped see the Take Home Naloxone program expand across BC.