New Policy on Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment

The College developed a new Professional Practice Policy-67 for Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment (iOAT), as well as an accompanying Policy Guide for Injectable Hydromorphone Maintenance Treatment which came into effect in September 2018. These documents set out the requirements for the safe dispensing of injectable hydromorphone for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

The new policy and accompanying guide align with “Guidance for Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder” released by the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) in October 2017. Under the BCCSU guidance, Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment is intended provide treatment options to individuals who have not benefited from oral OAT drugs. These individuals face significant risks, including fatal overdose due in large part to the proliferation of fentanyl and other synthetic analogues into the illicit drug supply.

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New Opioid Agonist Treatment Training Requirements

New Opioid Agonist Treatment training requirements came into effect January 1, 2019.

With support from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, and Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program, and working closely with the First Nations Health Authority, the BC Pharmacy Association developed the Opioid Agonist Treatment Compliance And Management Program (OAT-CAMPP) as a tool to help registrants address the province’s current opioid crisis.

The College updated Professional Practice Policy – 66 Opioid Agonist Treatment (PPP-66) in order to align itself with the OAT-CAMPP training requirements and ultimately replace the College’s current MMT training program.

The program includes training on buprenorphine/naloxone, methadone and slow release oral morphine maintenance treatments, as well as on opioid use disorder itself. Additionally, with pharmacists often on the front lines of the opioid crisis, this training program also aims to improve the experience and of people receiving treatment. It includes a patient-centred approach, discussing lived experiences of patients and communication strategies to reduce stigma and increase patient engagement.

A transition period will take place up until March 31, 2021 during which PPP-66 will require pharmacy managers, staff pharmacists, relief pharmacists and pharmacy technicians employed in a community pharmacy that provides services related to buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance treatment, methadone maintenance treatment or slow release oral morphine maintenance treatment to complete either the College’s existing MMT training program or the new OAT-CAMPP course.

By March 31, 2021, the College’s MMT training program will no longer be available. Completion of the OAT-CAMPP course will be needed to fulfill the training requirement outlined in PPP-66.

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Learn about the opioid overdose crisis

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