Opioid Agonist Treatment

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE POLICY-66: OPIOID AGONIST TREATMENT

Professional Practice Policy-66: Opioid Agonist Treatment sets out requirements for safe dispensing of drugs used to treat opioid use disorder. This policy has been updated to align with the new Provincial Guidelines for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder developed by the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU).

To support these new opioid agonist treatment options, Professional Practice Policy-66 now includes policy guides for Buprenorphine/Naloxone Maintenance Treatment and Slow Release Oral Morphine Maintenance Treatment. The existing policy guide for Methadone Maintenance Treatment continues to be in effect.  

The new BCCSU guidelines recommend buprenorphine/naloxone as the preferred first-line opioid agonist treatment (OAT) for opioid use disorder. Methadone remains a first line option when buprenorphine/naloxone is contraindicated or unfeasible, and slow-release oral morphine may be used  when both the first and second-line treatments are ineffective. This guideline will serve as the provincial clinical practice guideline for all clinicians who wish to prescribe oral OAT to patients with opioid use disorders.

The policy amendments and two new guides are in effect as of January 1, 2018. 

The College would like to remind registrants that BC’s Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) are able to prescribe some opioid agonist treatments (OAT) to treat substance use conditions. 

On September 16, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) issued an order temporarily authorizing RNs and RPNs to diagnose and treat a problem substance use condition or substance use disorder, including by providing opioid agonist treatment and by prescribing pharmaceutical alternatives to illegally produced or street procured drugs.

Learn more

Professional Practice Policy-66: Opioid Agonist Treatment

Opioid Agonist Treatment Guides
PPP-66 Policy Guide: Buprenorphine/Naloxone Maintenance Treatment (2018) 
PPP-66 Policy Guide: Methadone Maintenance Treatment (2013)
PPP-66 Policy Guide: Slow Release Oral Morphine Maintenance (SROM) Treatment (2018) 
Opioid Agonist Treatment Training Requirements

As of January 1, 2019, new Opioid Agonist Treatment training requirements are in effect.

The new Opioid Agonist Treatment Compliance and Management Program (OAT-CAMPP) for community pharmacy, developed and administered by the BC Pharmacy Association, is aimed at reducing stigma and expanding pharmacists’ knowledge about methadone, buprenorphine/naloxone and slow-release oral morphine.

Transition Period

A transition period will take place up until September 30, 2021 during which PPP-66 will require pharmacy managers, staff pharmacists, relief pharmacists and pharmacy technicians employed in a community pharmacy that provides services related to buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance treatment, methadone maintenance treatment or slow release oral morphine maintenance treatment to complete either the College’s existing MMT training program or the BCPhA’s new OAT-CAMPP course.

P​​harmacy technicians only need to complete the online component of OAT-CAMPP. The content of the in-person workshop focuses primarily on clinical cases that are not as relevant for pharmacy technicians.

Register for the Opioid Agonist Treatment Compliance and Management Program

Learn more about the Opioid Agonist Treatment training requirements

Declaration of Completion

Learn how to submit a declaration of successful completion of these requirement through eServices at: 

bcpharmacists.org/declarations

Learn more about the section 56 exemptions for providing controlled substances to community health facilities


 

Pharmacists can reach the 24/7 Addiction Medicine Clinician Support Line and speak to an Addiction Medicine Specialist by calling:

778-945-7619

The 24/7 support line for clinicians and pharmacists is available, offering live, in-the-moment addiction medicine support while they are meeting with patients across British Columbia. Click here for more information.


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