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June 27, 2016 Printable Version

Naloxone Now Schedule II


In response to the influx of opioid related overdoses across Canada, a great deal of effort has been invested in making naloxone available for emergency use for opioid overdose outside hospital settings. The goal of providing naloxone in community pharmacies is to increase public access to this life-saving medication. Naloxone is a non-addictive opioid antagonist that temporarily reverses the effects of opiates including respiratory depression, sedation and hypotension. Naloxone is a safe and effective therapy: with proper administration naloxone is a drug that can save lives in opioid overdose situations when a person appropriately identifies the overdose and takes the required action.

As of June 24, 2016 naloxone, when indicated for emergency use for opioid overdose outside hospital settings, is available as a Schedule II drug. Any patient or patient’s agent (agent) are now permitted to obtain Schedule II naloxone directly from any community pharmacist without a prescription. 

The College has produced a Guidance Document for Pharmacy Professionals when Dispensing or Selling naloxone as a Schedule II drug. The College will continue to monitor developments with respect to naloxone and continue to provide information about the availability of additional formulations or indications, and any other relevant information, as it becomes available.


Medical Assistance in Dying: Guidance to Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

 Medical Assistance in Dying: Guidance to Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

On Feb. 6, 2015 — through the Carter v. Canada decision — the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruled that all provinces and territories in Canada must permit some form of physician-assisted death. At the time of the Carter decision, the SCC suspended its decision and granted federal and provincial governments time to develop a framework to accommodate medical assistance in dying (referred to as ‘physician-assisted death’ by the SCC).

On June 17, 2016 the federal government enacted amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada (the “Criminal Code”) to include circumstances under which medical assistance in dying is permitted.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are now exempted from criminal liability when dispensing a prescription that is written by a medical or nurse practitioner in providing medical assistance in dying in accordance with applicable federal legislation, provincial or territorial legislation, standards, policies or guidelines.

Read more for guidance regarding medical assistance in dying.


Novel Synthetic Opioids in Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Other Illicit Street Drugs


The Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (CCENDU) – a nation-wide network of community-level partners who share information about local trends and emerging issues in substance use – recently released a new bulletin. The bulletin describes some of the novel synthetic opioids that have appeared or might appear in counterfeit pharmaceuticals or be mixed into other illicit street drugs – including fentanyl and its analogues.

The bulletin also provides a brief overview of some of the counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other illicit street drugs that have been found to contain novel synthetic opioids, as reported in the media and elsewhere in Canada and the United States.


Planning a Trip to the Niagara Area This Summer? Visit the Niagara Apothecary

Niagara Apothecary

If you haven’t visited the Niagara Apothecary yet, you’re missing out. It’s an authentic museum restoration of an 1869 pharmacy that operated in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario from 1820 to 1964. The apothecary receives thousands of visitors every summer and is open daily from Mother’s Day Weekend to Labour Day.

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