Starting this Saturday, October 20, 2018, pharmacists must provide an information handout to individuals and put warning stickers on some opioids dispensed at pharmacies.
The yellow sticker will warn that opioids can cause dependence and addictions, and that overdoses can be fatal. The handout will expand on the warnings, detail the signs of an overdose, explain possible side effects, and offer advice on safe storage and disposal.
Opioids listed on Health Canada’s schedule “A” must have the sticker. Over-the-counter opioid preparations with a low dose of codeine are exempt.
Pharmacies are required to obtain or produce copies of the sticker and handout which meet the specifications of the source document. Digital copies of the warning sticker and patient information handout are on Health Canada’s website.
The Health Canada website also has a questions and answers section.
The new handout is not interchangeable with the patient information section of a product monograph. While the handout may supplement existing educational resources, such as ACP’s opioid brochure, Health Canada states that it cannot be replaced with any other material.
The Controlled Substances Program inspectors will provide education and monitor compliance.
Any questions can be directed to HC.bcans.enquiries.SC@canada.ca.