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Updated Take Home Naloxone (THN) Kit Guidance now available

December 21, 2017
Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants can now provide THN kits upon appropriate training

At the November 30 – December 1, 2017, meeting, ACP Council approved changes to the THN Guidance document to reflect Naloxone as an unscheduled drug, and to accommodate the provision of THN kits by pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants.

The updated guidance is facilitated by complementary changes communicated in Alberta Blue Cross Benefact #715. Note that the THN Program may be referred to as the Community Based Naloxone Program and THN kits as Overdose Response Kits in future communications.

While administering an intramuscular injection is a restricted activity, the training required for self-administration is not. Therefore, ACP council has determined that, after completing appropriate training, THN Kits may now be provided in pharmacies by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy assistants.

The updated guidance remains based on the ACP Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies, and our Code of Ethics. This guidance notwithstanding, pharmacy professionals must always rely on their professional judgement when dealing with each unique individual and each situation, and provide care accordingly.

The main points reflected in the updated guidance include

  • changes allowing pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants to provide kits;
  • encouraging pharmacists to identify individuals who may benefit from THN and offer to provide them a kit; and
  • an overall shift in the tone of the guidelines to encourage harm reduction, minimize stigmatization, and avoid judgment.

Pharmacists are reminded that the roles of pharmacy assistants require direct supervision. This anticipates the responsibility of pharmacy licensees to ensure that all team members providing THN kits are appropriately trained and perform consistently with the program guidelines, the Standards of Practice, and the Code of Ethics.

Read the updated guidance at