Extension of Temporary Authorizations for Controlled Drugs and Substances

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Extension of Temporary Authorizations for Controlled Drugs and Substances

[Update - December 2, 2021]

Transfers from Other Provinces

In November 2021, Health Canada issued an update to the Subsection 56(1) class exemption for patients, practitioners and pharmacists prescribing and providing controlled substances in Canada to allow transfers of controlled substances prescriptions between provinces.

The FAQ document has been similarly updated to state that “prescriptions under this exemption can be transferred to another province or territory”

To support continuity of care to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 19, 2020, Health Canada issued a national class exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and its regulations, for prescriptions of controlled substances. 

In order to continue to maintain Canadians’ access to controlled substances for medical treatments, the expiration date of this temporary exemption has been extended from September 30, 2021 to September 30, 2026. 

Learn More About the Exemption


In order to reduce barriers and implement these exemptions within BC’s regulatory framework, the College Board reviewed and amended both the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA) Bylaws, as well as the Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice in March 2020.The College’s amendments will remain effective as long as the exemption remains in place.

Learn more about these amendments in the following article: 


For further clarification on the scope of the exemption for providing controlled substances during the coronavirus pandemic, please refer to the following FAQs provided by Health Canada: 


Health Canada recognizes that local pandemic precautions may impact the operations of Supervised Consumption Sites (SCS), and are committed to working directly with SCS Operators to assess each individual situation and develop appropriate modifications to their protocols and practices. Operators are encouraged to contact the Office of Controlled Substances’ Exemptions Section at 

If you have any questions, please contact Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances, at:

For additional questions related to pharmacy practice and providing continuity of care for patients during this emergency, contact the College’s practice support at [email protected]. 

Jul 27, 2021