Federal exemption to prescribe methadone no longer required as of May 19

Health Canada has announced that effective May 19, 2018, prescribers will no longer require a federal exemption to prescribe methadone. This announcement results after an extensive national consultation on subsection 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. What remains to be determined over the next two months is what will happen at a provincial level. As set out in section 2-3(3) of the College Bylaws, physicians are required to practise medicine within their scope of practice and should, therefore, acquire the relevant knowledge, training and experience before initiating patients on methadone. To access applicable training on prescribing methadone for opioid use disorder, physicians should contact the BC Centre on Substance Use. Questions related to prescribing methadone for analgesia should be directed to the College.