On January 2, 2020, amendments to the Drug Schedules Regulation (DSR) under the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA), moving certain Schedule I codeine containing liquid preparations to Schedule 1A, came into effect.
New Safety Measures for Codeine Liquid Preparations are now in Effect.
Prescriptions for certain codeine containing liquid preparations will now require a CPP duplicate prescription form and must be stored in a time-delay safe.
— BC Pharmacists (@BCPharmacists) January 3, 2020
This means that prescriptions for certain codeine containing liquid preparations began requiring a Controlled Prescription Program duplicate prescription form. Additionally, as with all Controlled Prescription Program drugs, these preparations must also be stored in a time delay safe.
Codeine is an opiate pain killer that has seen an increase in recreational abuse, especially by young people. According to the 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey, the most commonly used opioid pain medications were products containing codeine.
While codeine containing liquid preparations* have always been prescription-only in Canada, there is still misuse amongst young people. 1 in 10 Canadians aged 15 and older who reported using any opioid pain medication in the past year, reported taking the medication in greater amounts than prescribed, or more often than directed, using it to get high, for reasons other than pain relief, or tampering with a product before taking it.
Rescheduling the codeine containing liquid preparations listed below to Schedule 1A improves oversight of these drugs, increases barriers to their access, and helps to address public safety concerns, such as:
- Addiction and non-medical use of these drugs,
- Prescription forgeries for these drugs, and
- Pharmacy robberies and thefts targeting these drugs.
|2298708||ACETAMINOPHEN ELIXIR WITH 8MG CODEINE PHOSPHATE SYRUP|
|816027||PMS-ACETAMINOPHEN WITH CODEINE ELIXIR|
|2244079||DIMETANE EXPECTORANT C|
As of January 2, 2020, managers of Community Pharmacies involved in the dispensing of any of the above codeine containing liquid preparations must:
- Store applicable codeine containing liquid preparations in a time-delay safe.
- Require the use of CPP duplicate prescription forms when dispensing applicable codeine containing liquid preparations.
This change was intended to address important public safety concerns and will not negatively impact patient care or access in British Columbia.