Methadone Maintenance Treatment Update 1

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Starting February 1, 2014 changes to the Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) program come into effect. Over the next few weeks, the College will be sending you a number of MMT-related emails. These emails will remind and update you regarding all matters related to the MMT program and are important to review in order to successfully make the transition to the new 10 mg/ml standard.

Methadone update emails like this one are being sent to you to help you more effectively implement these changes and to communicate them to your patients. PharmaCare will also be communicating with you directly on the transition so it is important to watch your email.

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Detailed information on the new MMT Controlled Prescription form.
  • Relevant PharmaCare updates on MMT.
  • Emergent issues you need to know about.
  • Reminders to ensure you have completed and declared your mandatory training and that your practice is all systems go on February 1.

What are physicians being told by their College? 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC has communicated to their registrants about the upcoming changes to the MMT program. To review the update from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC please click here.

Public Awareness Activities Launched 

Keeping the general public up-to-date

To further increase public awareness and patient safety during the transition to the new MMT standards the College, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, released a joint public service announcement (PSA) regarding the updates to the MMT program on Monday, January 13, 2014.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are reminded that they should be educating patients who attend their pharmacies for MMT about the transition to the new 10 mg/ml standard and how this change will affect their treatment moving forward.

As a result of the new stronger formula patients should be reminded that they need to "think before they drink" because the new formula contains the same dose, but the amount of liquid is one-tenth as much as they received with the current formula. Patients should also be instructed to safely store their methadone so that it cannot be accessed by children or persons for whom it was not prescribed.

A public awareness campaign has been launched to help ensure all patients are aware and educated about the impending changes. Posters will be distributed by volunteers in community charitable organizations in major regional centres to reach as many patients as possible. In addition, BCCDC and other community health centres, harm reduction centres, and mental health centres will also be carrying posters that are aimed at educating staff and patients about the new 10 mg/ml standards. 

To read the full public service announcement please click here.

Important Reminder: Measuring Devices Error Rate 

To adjust to the strength of the commercially available 10 mg/ml products methadone doses must be accurately measured in a calibrated device that minimizes the error rate to no greater than 0.1 ml. 

Note: If you received a printed copy of the PPP-66 Policy Guide (2013) there has been an amendment to Principle 3.3.1 regarding the error rate.

Jan 21, 2014