Drug Programs

The drug programs department consists of two streams:

  • The Prescription Review Program (PRP) is an educational and remedial program, which assists physicians with the challenging task of prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants and other potentially addictive medications with appropriate caution. The work of the program is informed by the PharmaNet database.
  • The Methadone Maintenance Program makes recommendations to Health Canada regarding physicians obtaining authorizations to prescribe methadone under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The College administers three streams: maintenance, analgesia, and hospitalist authorizations. In addition, it can recommend temporary authorizations of up to 60 days.

News from drug programs

Prescription Pad Reorder Forms

Please allow for two to three weeks for order processing and delivery.

Overdose Prevention and Response Training

Toward the Heart is a provincial harm reduction initiative designed to equip members of the public to respond in case of an opioid overdose.

Physicians should consider providing patients who may be at risk of overdose with naloxone. The BC Centre for Disease Control has a Take Home Naloxone Program, which provides information to health-care workers and the public. There is also an Overdose Survival Guide which can be provided directly to patients, their friends and families.

For more information about the program or to find the nearest training site, visit the Toward the Heart website.

Naloxone now available in BC without a prescription

Naloxone is now available outside of pharmacies without a prescription.  It is important that anyone administering naloxone call 9-1-1 first, and be aware that naloxone may cause withdrawal symptoms for the patient. Family and friends should be adequately instructed on how to recognize the signs of overdose, how to administer naloxone, and how to monitor the patient’s progress until help arrives.

For more information and resources regarding naloxone, visit the College of Pharmacists of BC website.

RACE Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise

RACE was created to enhance patient care and provide timely treatment advice. Easier access to the specialist reduces wait times or eliminates the need for referral, and can triage utilization of walk-in or emergency department services. The family physician or nurse practitioner may phone the RACE line and either speak to a specialist immediately, or receive a return call within two hours.

RACE is available in the following regions:

For more information, visit the RACE website.

Prescribing in Postgraduate Medical Education Training Program

Requests for prescription privileges are submitted to the UBC Posgraduate Medical Education dean’s office by program administrators on the behalf of their trainees. Requests are reviewed by the dean’s Office and submitted to the College for processing.