Amendments to Professional Practice Policy-66 Opioid Agonist Treatment in Effect

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Amendments to Professional Practice Policy 66 – Opioid Agonist Treatment (PPP-66) to allow pharmacists in community pharmacies to provide opioid agonist treatment to community health facilities are now in effect.

Over the past year and a half, the College has supported the Ministry of Health and BCCSU in the development of an interdisciplinary OAT model for community health facility settings. This model, called the ‘Integrated Interdisciplinary Model of OAT’, provides a framework for interdisciplinary OAT provision in a community health facility setting, and provides guidance for pharmacists, nursing professionals, and prescribers involved in the model.

This new interdisciplinary OAT model for community health facilities is made possible by two recent section 56 exemptions: 

While the College is not responsible for development and implementation of clinical practice guidelines, the College supports the provincial OAT program through development of policies for OAT dispensing that align with provincial guidelines to ensure safe, standardized access to OAT.

These amendments to PPP-66 allow for two streams of OAT service delivery that pharmacists can support in the community setting – the current pharmacy-based model, and the interdisciplinary OAT model. The amendments allow pharmacists in community pharmacies to provide patient specific OAT and clinic stock of OAT drugs to community health facilities, in accordance with the Section 56 exemptions. This means that a pharmacist will not be required to be present to release the dose of OAT to a patient and can instead provide the dose to the community health facility where another authorized health professional will be responsible for storing and administering the medication.

Additionally, these amendments also include the following recommendations:

  • That pharmacy professionals be familiar with the information included in the Ministry of Health and BCCSU’s most recent version of the interdisciplinary OAT model;
  • That pharmacy professionals document in the patient record when a dose of OAT has been delivered to a community health facility; and
  • That a secure and confidential method of transporting OAT drugs is used, including considering the use of tamper-proof boxes or seals

Additional requirements for transportation and delivery of controlled substances are included in the section 56 exemptions.

When pharmacists are providing OAT to community health facilities, they will be exempt from the requirements in the PPP-66 Policy Guides. Lastly, pharmacy managers will be required to ensure that written policies and procedures are in place to ensure the requirements of the section 56 exemption are met when providing OAT to community health facilities.

Integrated Interdisciplinary Model of OAT Guide
Additional Information
Dec 21, 2022