Prescription Review Program

The Prescription Review Program (PRP) is a quality assurance program responsible for assisting registrants in the challenging task of prescribing opioids, sedatives, and other potentially addictive medications.

Prioritizing patient safety

The PRP provides registrants with the most up-to-date clinical guidance, helping them continually improve their skills and knowledge and maintaining quality of care for prescribing in BC.

Review of prescribing practices

The PRP reviews the prescribing practices of registrants to ensure they align with accepted standards and guidelines. The educational and remedial activities provided by the PRP are of a collegial nature, supported by evidence-based best practices.

Individualized guidance

As each practice is unique, registrants participating in the PRP are asked to provide an overview of their individual practice, background, training, and treatment plans. The program works with each registrant individually to identify any challenges they may face in their practice and provides resources and guidance where required.

The process is supported by the review of PharmaNet practitioner prescription profiles (PPPs) in combination with published clinical guidelines and general best practice principles. PPPs are generated from PharmaNet data and are used as a tool for initiating a discussion around safe and rational prescribing.

Ensuring patient safety through safe prescribing practices

The PRP’s primary objective is ensuring patient safety through safe prescribing practices.

By providing registrants with an opportunity to reflect on and re-evaluate long-term medication regimens, and incorporate risk mitigation measures in their prescribing, the program works to confirm that a registrant’s prescribing is largely aligned with the relevant standards and guidelines.

Many registrants find the opportunity to reflect on their practice and reassess prescribing treatments with the guidance of a medical consultant beneficial for both them and their patients.

Reducing risk to patients by monitoring and maintaining standards of practice

The PRP reviews and responds to any potential prescribing concerns that may pose a risk to a patient or the public. The program reduces risk to patients by monitoring and maintaining standards of practice to make sure that registrants have the resources and tools to make an informed decision to prescribe safely to patients. When challenges are identified the program will provide registrants with education, resources and guidance.

The program is not intended to discourage the use of prescription drugs for legitimate medical reasons, or to deter prescribers from prescribing a drug if that is the most appropriate treatment for a patient’s condition.

The program cannot intervene in individual patient care or discipline registrants for what they prescribe, and cannot tell registrants how to manage individual patients. It is responsible for reviewing and recommending updates to prescribing practices, not individual patient care.

Where do the guidelines come from?

The College does not write clinical guidelines but expects that clinicians follow relevant published guidelines. The College cannot settle questions which are not settled in science, nor be the final arbiter on subjects over which there is legitimate scientific and clinical debate.   

Guidelines may come from a variety of sources, including:

Want to learn more?

Here is more information about the Prescription Review Program, applying for PharmaNet and links to resources.

Learn more about the multi-stage process for program participants
Visit the Ministry of Health website to apply for PharmaNet
Sign up for courses and conferences
Resources and tools for making informed decisions when prescribing controlled substances

Question or concern?

Connect with the drug programs department