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Update to Health Canada’s Controlled substances guidance for community pharmacists

February 8, 2023
Pharmacy teams: review the updated guidance.

Health Canada has published an updated version of its Controlled substances guidance for community pharmacists: security, inventory reconciliation and record-keeping. 

Included among the updates are the following:

  • Removal of information related to handling post-consumer returns and unserviceable stock and instead referring to the separate guidance documents on those topics.
  • The guidance now requires “regular inventory reconciliations.”
  • Addition of information related to the section 56 exemption (allowing transfers, renewals, verbal Rx, delivery, etc.).
  • Addition of pharmacy closure or transfer of ownership expectations of pharmacy teams.
  • Additional section on Notices of Restriction.
  • Reorganization of the information in the guidance to enhance readability.

Pharmacy licensees should ensure their pharmacy teams review and discuss these changes. ACP has added a link to the guidance under Pharmacy issues on our Practice materials and tools webpage.