Safe Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse/Diversion

The College is inviting feedback from members of the public on recent revisions made to Safe Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse/Diversion.

The purpose of this consultation is to evaluate whether the revised draft standard is clear, and whether it effectively sets out the College’s ethical and professional expectations of physicians regarding safe prescribing. The revised draft standard has been shortened to be more succinct, and is intended to provide clear direction to physicians to assist them in their decision-making about prescribing opioids, sedatives and stimulants. The revised draft standard does not direct that physicians should never prescribe opioids, or abruptly stop prescribing opioids other than in exceptional circumstances.

Earlier versions of the standard contained a list of recommended guidelines, which were included to fill a clinical gap. (Note: The 2010 Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, while a reflection of excellent medical research, was not as helpful to practising physicians as had been anticipated.) When McMaster University released its new 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, the College Board chose to endorse it as good medical practice, and subsequently directed that the clinical guidelines be removed from the revised draft standard.

The new Canadian guideline is considered complementary to, and should be read in conjunction with, the College standard.

Read the revised draft standard here.

Provide your feedback here.

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The deadline to provide feedback is December 4, 2017.