Changes to Tracked Prescription Program (TPP) requirements

March 9, 2022

Changes are in response to the Health Canada Exemptions for Prescribing and Providing Controlled Substances.

In September 2021, Health Canada extended their exemption for controlled substances made pursuant to section 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act until September 30, 2026. As a result, ACP published detailed guidelines on this in October 2021.

The exemptions authorize prescribers to verbally prescribe controlled substances, and pharmacists to prescribe controlled substances in limited circumstances. This exemption includes Type 1 Tracked Prescription Program (TPP) drugs that typically require a secure TPP form used as the prescription. 

In November 2021, the TPP Alberta Steering committee determined that the general requirement for TPP forms for the above circumstances will continue to be waived. However, it was noted that prescriptions for compounds containing Type 1 TPP drugs and prescriptions “for office use” are not captured through Netcare. As a result, TPP has published updated guidance. This guidance requires that pharmacists send TPP Alberta a copy of all

  • verbal prescriptions for compounds containing type 1 TPP drugs,
  • verbal prescriptions written “for office use,” and
  • pharmacist-written prescriptions for compounds containing type 1 TPP drug.

The record submitted to TPP must include the

  • prescription number,
  • date dispensed,
  • quantity dispensed,
  • Drug Information Number (DIN),
  • indication for therapy,
  • pharmacy licence number,
  • pharmacist signature and registration number, and
  • signature from the patient indicating medication was received.

TPP Alberta has indicated within their guidance that “for office use” prescriptions are discouraged in general and, when required, should be written for minimum quantities. Further, TPP Alberta has indicated that, due to the risk of diversion, a faxed TPP form is preferable to a verbally issued prescription. 

Verbally issued prescriptions are less secure and more prone to error than a faxed prescription on a TPP form. Pharmacists are reminded that they have a responsibility under the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (standard 6.6) to ensure every prescription they dispense is authentic.


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