Important notice regarding Suboxone®
In order to allow for greater patient access to opioid substitution treatment in British Columbia, as of July 1, 2016 physicians will no longer be required to hold an exemption to prescribe methadone for opioid use disorder prior to being able to prescribe Suboxone® (sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone), or its generic versions. This decision has been made in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
To further remove barriers to patient access, the College will no longer maintain a central registry of patients registered in the methadone program. As a result, patient registration, transfer, and cessation forms are no longer required to be submitted. Prescribers are still expected to check PharmaNet before accepting a patient seeking opioid treatment, and to also contact any previous prescriber to verify the clinical information.
In the coming days, the College will be releasing a new document entitled Methadone and Buprenorphine: Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioids Use Disorder, with which all physicians – whether prescribing Suboxone® or methadone – should be familiar. Further updates will be made to this guideline in the coming months.