New Requirements for Verbal and Faxed CPP Prescriptions Coming Soon
At it’s February 16th Meeting, the College Board approved amendments to the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA) and the Health Professions Act (HPA) Bylaws, including the Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice, to change the Controlled Prescription Program (CPP) hard copy requirements for verbal and faxed prescriptions, along with amendments to related Professional Practice Policy (PPP) Policy Guides.
Normally, verbal and faxed prescriptions for Schedule 1A drugs may not be accepted by a pharmacist in a community pharmacy, however temporary amendments are currently in place that allow the following:
- Verbal prescriptions: A registrant may only accept a verbal prescription for a drug listed in the CPP if doing so is permitted under a section 56 exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The pharmacy must receive either the original or a faxed copy of the CPP prescription form from the practitioner as soon as reasonably possible.
- Faxed prescriptions: A registrant may only accept a CPP prescription received by fax, during a public health emergency declared by the Provincial Health Officer. This includes the Overdose Crisis. Faxed prescriptions must still be written on a CPP form.
The approved amendments remove the requirement for a hard copy of the original CPP prescription form to be received by a pharmacy when a verbal or faxed CPP prescription is issued, and instead permit a faxed copy of the CPP form to be received.
In both cases, the faxed copy of the CPP prescription received by the pharmacy must be written on a CPP duplicate prescription form, thus upholding the purpose of the CPP.
Consequential amendments to the record keeping requirements in both PODSA and the HPA Bylaws were also approved, to maintain the requirement for pharmacies to retain paper copies of all CPP prescriptions, including if they are faxed.
These amendments have been filed with the Ministry of Health and will come into effect on April 17, 2023
Previously, CPP prescriptions had to be issued using a hard copy of the original prescription form. However, in March 2020, the Board approved bylaw amendments allowing for CPP prescriptions to be provided verbally or by fax under the conditions outlined above, as long as the original hard copy prescription was sent to the pharmacy as soon as reasonably possible.
Following this, the College received concerns that in some cases, practitioners were not providing the original hard copy to pharmacies for verbal or faxed CPP prescriptions, leaving registrants non-compliant with these requirements and left with little recourse.
As such, in September 2022, the Board approved amendments to the PODSA Bylaws for a public posting period which ended on December 24, 2022. All comments received were supportive of the changes.
Amended Bylaws and Policies
The following amended bylaws and policies have been provided for reference only and will come into effect on April 17, 2023.
Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act Bylaw Amendments
Health Professions Act Bylaw Amendments
The Board also approved updates to the PPP-66 Opioid Agonist Treatment Policy Guides for Buprenorphine/Naloxone, Methadone Maintenance Treatment and Slow-Release Oral Morphine, as well as the PPP-67 Policy Guide for Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment to remove the term ‘original,’ now that faxed copies of CPP forms will be acceptable.
These policy changes will also come into force on April 17, 2023.
About the Controlled Prescription Program