Check PharmaNet, even when prescribing small quantities to unfamiliar patients

Recently, the Prescription Review Program learned that a patient had received prescriptions for small amounts of opioids and benzodiazepines from a number of physicians for the treatment of alleged tendonitis. A PharmaNet review later revealed that the patient was on methadone for opioid use disorder, but had relapsed and subsequently visited a total of 18 physicians over the span of six months.

In another instance, a PharmaNet review revealed that a patient who had been on methadone earlier in the year had more recently been receiving two different opioids and a benzodiazepine from 10 different prescribers over a four-month period.

These examples demonstrate why it is so important to check PharmaNet as a routine part of medical practice—even for small amounts of controlled medication.

Physicians should be particularly cautious in instances when patients present at their office from another province or who claim to live in BC but have no personal health number. In such cases, physicians should communicate with the patient’s out-of-province pharmacy to verify identity, current medications, doses, and date of last refill.