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Photocopied TPP Alberta forms are not acceptable

December 9, 2020
Vigilance is still required with Cotridin prescriptions.

Pharmacists are reminded that prescriptions for Cotridin must be written on an original TPP Alberta form, or a faxed TPP form. Recently, two photocopied TPP Alberta forms presented at pharmacies were successfully used to obtain Cotridin. A photocopy of an original TPP Alberta form is not valid.

Oral liquids containing codeine requiring a prescription have Type 1 TPP Alberta status. These products require a secure, two-part, TPP Alberta prescription form. This change from Type 2 to Type 1 TPP Alberta status happened on July 1, 2020.

The change was in response to the growing number of codeine syrup forgeries that were being reported. In 2019, out of the 339 total forgeries reported, 254 were for codeine-containing syrup. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians need to remain vigilant about the authenticity of liquid codeine syrup prescriptions.

TPP Alberta is a two-part prescription form. Please remember the following:

  • If the prescription is provided directly to the patient, the patient is given the top copy of the TPP secure form to present to a pharmacy; the prescriber will keep the second copy.
  • If the prescription is faxed directly to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice, the prescriber keeps both original copies, voiding the top one.

Pharmacy teams must send a copy of the secure form to TPP Alberta when it is for

  • compounded medications,
  • office use, or
  • veterinary use.

Drug misuse and diversion are ongoing problems which many pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Alberta encounter in the form of a forged prescription. If you suspect a forgery, take action. First, check with the prescriber to confirm, and then report the attempt to ACP and to the police.

Reporting a forgery attempt to ACP

  • promotes awareness of recent prescription forgery attempts and forgery tactics;
  • helps prevent diversion of drugs, thus maintaining the integrity of the drug system; and
  • helps us create a listing of forgery attempts for the calendar year, so that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have another tool to aid them in forgery detection.

Information collected by ACP is also shared with the TPP Alberta program and is considered when developing policy.

ACP has compiled a list of Forged prescription FAQs to help you if a forged prescription is presented in your pharmacy.