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Handling and destruction of post-consumer returns containing controlled substances

November 27, 2019
Health Canada releases new guidance document for pharmacy professionals.

Health Canada has released a new guidance document for the handling and destruction of post-consumer returns containing controlled substances.

The purpose of the document is to set out procedures for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians involved in the collection, provision, and destruction of unused or expired drug products containing a narcotic, controlled drug, or targeted substance returned to the pharmacy by an individual.

The guidance clarifies that businesses involved in the provision or who specialize in the destruction of post-consumer returns must obtain a Controlled Drugs Licence. It also sets out record-keeping requirements for pharmacists and licensed dealers.

Health Canada outlines that pharmacists and licensed dealers must take all reasonable steps necessary to protect post-consumer returns from loss or theft. The guidance includes a reminder that post-consumer returns must be received by a pharmacist, provisional pharmacist (intern), or a pharmacy technician.

The guidance is now available on the Health Canada website and takes effect on January 1, 2020.